Tennis Industry magazine


Outlook 2013: Sources of Inspiration

Fashion pros give insight into how they create their looks for 2013.

By Cynthia Sherman

If you think the styles you see at the club or in vendor’s catalogs are random acts of color, cut and fabrication, think again. The research, man-hours and “science” that goes into the design and execution of a line of tennis/fitness wear has never been more comprehensive. Influences from the runway, nature, and one’s surroundings all play a part in this ebb and flow of designs.

Two designers gave us insight into the new year of fashion. Francine Candiotti, designer for Fila, takes her cue from high fashion and adapts it to a sportier look. Fila’s 100-year heritage allows Candiotti to combine classic tradition with updated youthful looks by using trending colors, unique details, and textures, which, she says, “will be a key” in the months ahead.

The intricate and detailed patterns that laser-cut fabrics spawned several years ago in haute couture outfits have hit mainstream fashion and Candiotti uses it to define a neutral colored top layer of finely detailed cut-out designs, over bright yellow shorts that really make the outfit pop in both its attention to detail and color.

Talking to retailers, sales reps, club players and touring pros gives Candiotti a real sense of what’s selling and what people are looking for, she says, and it enables Fila to plan lines accordingly.

Shorts are in, says Candiotti, and people seem to feel more comfortable in them. In creating Fila’s four yearly collections, including a men’s and children’s line, Candiotti says, “It’s all about balance. You have to accommodate different kinds of customers with tops, dresses, shorts, warm-ups, and skirts in different lengths.”

Aside from the retro Heritage look of red, white and blues, the need for basics and white is still important to the sporting consumer. But fashion colors for 2013 range from bold fluorescent pinks, oranges, yellows and greens to more muted heather grays, with dashes of metallic detail.

Updating a classic design using great fabrics, colors of the moment and fashion twists seems to be the path for sporting fashion. But as Candiotti notes, “Telling a story when you design is important, but if the fit isn’t fabulous and comfortable, no one will want to wear it.”

For 15 years, Carlos Perez has been at the forefront of Bolle’s designs. He recently was in Barcelona, and he says the magnificent architecture of that Spanish city “gave me this year’s focus.” Combining that architectural geometry with an asymmetry, than adding to that from high fashion trends, gives his current silhouettes added panache, especially when combined with creative prints and stripes.

Again, strong colors are abundant, combined with sueded finishes, soft neutral heathers, tone-on-tones, and textures and layers. Bold blues, gold, violet, electric green, pinks and corals paired with white, slate grays make 2013’s court wear from Bolle more fun and sophisticated than ever.

This year, Perez notes, you’ll see more unusual color combinations and fabrics. “The layering effect of shapes and colors to get surface interest with raised jacquards, netting, mesh … while providing style and most importantly, comfort, are key components of 2013 fashion,” he says.

Paying attention to competitors, and constantly seeking feedback from players and retailers are all cues Perez takes to formulate his fashion route for the year. Having all these components, plus “hanger appeal,” price point and timely delivery, all go into the formulation of a collection.

He also emphasizes “balance” in collections — having dresses, skirts of varying lengths, shorts, separates and jackets; go-to basic team colors; and an all-white line as an essential for doing business.

Bolle • 301-362-0360

Bolle’s new lines feature strong colors and the layering effect of different shapes.

Fila • 410-773-3000

New from Fila for 2013 is the Heritage line, which pros will wear at this year’s US Open, and the Baseline line.

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About the Author

Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for Tennis Industry magazine.



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