Wimbledon clothing in demand after Zendaya film revives ‘tenniscore’ trend

wimbledon clothing in demand after zendaya film revives ‘tenniscore’ trend

The actress is inspiring even those who have never stepped foot on a tennis court

Wimbledon has seen a boom in demand for its clothing after a Hollywood film starring Zendaya revived the “tenniscore” trend.

Challengers, the hit film, has become just as known for the actress’s court-worthy ensembles - from pleated white skirts to stilettos with tennis balls spiked through the heels - as it has for its steamy love-triangle plot line.

And it appears the film, which launched in UK cinemas last month, is inspiring even those who have never stepped foot on a tennis court to turn to SW19 as a fashion destination of choice this summer.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which runs the Wimbledon Championships, has launched its largest-ever retail collection in response to what it described as the “booming tenniscore trend”.

The club has also reported an almost 70 per cent increase in people visiting its online retail store since the start of the year, compared with the same period in 2023.

wimbledon clothing in demand after zendaya film revives ‘tenniscore’ trend

Challengers launched in UK cinemas last month and tells the story of a steamy love-triangle - LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

Daniel Ashmore, the head of retail at the All England Club, said the Hollywood movie had been “capturing the imagination” of consumers ahead of the tournament, which takes place between July 1 and 11.

“We are delighted to launch the 2024 Wimbledon retail collection, our largest and most varied range to date,” he said.

“In addition to our traditional all-white tennis kit, the collection includes modern athleisurewear, smart-casual garments and accessories; designed and ready to wear both on and off the tennis court.”

Mr Ashmore added: “Challengers is certainly capturing the imagination of consumers at the moment, however, fashion and tennis have always been inextricably linked, with the sport serving as a prominent stage for expression and innovation.

Wimbledon green

“The recent rise of tennis-inspired casual wear reflects this deep connection, and given its history and heritage, it is no surprise that tennis fashion continues to remain so popular.

“Wimbledon is in a unique position to benefit from this, having always been at the forefront of tennis fashion, setting trends and maintaining a prestigious standard of elegance and style in the sport.”

The new range includes “timeless” pieces such as oversized rugby T-shirts and sweatshirts in the famous Wimbledon green, white and purple palette, with prices ranging from £15 to £250.

wimbledon clothing in demand after zendaya film revives ‘tenniscore’ trend

Zendaya has appeared on the red carpet wearing stilettos with tennis balls spiked through the heels - TIZIANA FABI

Other items have been given a “modern twist” by the club this year, however, such as a white sweatshirt embroidered with a giant strawberry, a retro-inspired navy and white bomber jacket, and an urban-style green and white co-ord tracksuit.

It has also launched a new range of Italian leather bags including cross-body bags, shoppers, backpacks, and washbags, which it said were designed for taking to the court or on a weekend getaway.

The All England Club said its latest collection demonstrates its growing relevance both on and off the court, with a growing consumer demand for tennis style.

last year, Wimbledon launched its first range of “smart casual” clothes for spectators as it revealed many visitors were unsure what to wear to the Championships, which has no official dress code.

In the three weeks leading up to the tournament last year, there was a 404 per cent spike in online searches on what to wear to the event compared with earlier in the year.

Blame Zendaya. The actress wore a slew of tennis-inspired outfits on the recent promotional tour for the film, and, with the help of her stylist Law Roach, single-handedly revived the “Tenniscore” trend.

‌Will fashion lovers bite?

It’s not a new thing. For the past three or four years, fashion has been looking to preppy, “old money” ideals for inspiration. Tennis, along with polo and cricket, falls under that umbrella.

Zendaya has helped draw focus onto tennis specifically, inspiring people who have absolutely no intention of hitting a ball with a racket to don visors and pleated skirts.

So it makes sense that Wimbledon is now betting on the trend too. Its 2024 collection is its largest to date, indicating its ambition to harness tenniscore fans.

Will fashion lovers bite? I’m sure some will. The Wimbledon retail collection is… fine. It’s exactly what you’d expect, and will probably be purchased by those who either love to look the part when they play tennis or those who want a souvenir from this year’s tournament. It’s more practical than on-trend, so a little styling skill would be required to make it ‘fashion’.

Just as Zendaya is not walking the red carpet in full tennis whites, wearing the tenniscore look is not as simple as wearing head-to-toe Wimbledon clobber. You don’t want to turn up at the pub with your friends looking like you got lost on your way to Centre Court.

wimbledon clothing in demand after zendaya film revives ‘tenniscore’ trend

The All England Lawn Tennis Club has launched its 2024 retail collection - Elliot Willcox

It’s more about injecting a preppy, sporty flavour into your wardrobe: a pleated skort with an oversized jumper, or a knitted polo top under a suit.

For those keen to wear tennis-influenced fashion in real life, they can find more stylish takes on the look elsewhere. Activewear brand Varley, for instance, has retro-inspired skorts and dresses designed for playing tennis but would look equally at home in a social setting.

The same is true of the Exeat and Alex Eagle Sporting Club offerings. All are favourites with those in the fashion industry.

The American brand Sporty & Rich sells country club-inspired loungewear that is very tenniscore, while Vuori’s sleek pique polo tank is unbranded, making it a good piece to slot into a work wardrobe.

Lacoste, the original French tennis brand, staked its claim on the tenniscore look by staging its Paris Fashion Week show at the Stade Roland Garros in March.

In brief, the All England Tennis Club has its work cut out. Its wares may be great for playing tennis, but from a fashion perspective, it’s not the full Grand Slam.

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