Launch of the fashion brand Arthur Ashe
Tennis and fashion have long-standing ties, and with court style taking over the streetwear scene, what better time to welcome another iconic name into the fashion game? Today marks the launch of fashion brand Arthur Ashe.
Named for the tennis legend who not only became the first black man (and the first amateur) to win the US Open, as well as home titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and a doubles championship at the French Open, but also was an outspoken campaigner for racial justice and for people with HIV and AIDS. The brand is a partnership between Ashe’s widow, photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Arthur Ashe estate, Jack Carlson (founder of Rowing Blazers, who revived Princess Diana’s iconic black sheepskin sweater) and Karl- Raphael Blanchard.
Drawing inspiration from Ashe himself – including the USA Davis Cup team tracksuit he wore at the 1975 Wimbledon awards ceremony – as well as modern interpretations of his aesthetic, the first collection includes tennis polo shirts, shorts, skirts, sweatshirts, t-shirts and knitwear. , and accessories for men and women. The brand will also have long-term philanthropic partnerships with the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA and Social Change Fund United.
“You have Fred Perry, a British tennis lifestyle brand named after Fred Perry. And Lacoste, a French brand dedicated to the legacy of Rene Lacoste. But there has been no American equivalent. Who better to represent the United States than Arthur Ashe?” Carlson said in a statement for the brand’s launch. “Arthur Ashe has been a hero of mine for a long time. His icy demeanor, effortless style, scholarly approach to sport, drive to win and determination to champion social justice resonate deeply with me. The opportunity to work to create this brand has been a dream come true.
Blanchard added, “I am so grateful to Jeanne for placing her trust in us, and to all the organizations involved. This brand is here to commemorate one of our black heroes who embodied style and grace on and in off the pitch. It’s the start of something very special.”
The full line is currently available on arthurashe.com as well as Rowing Blazers, and will be available at pop-up stores in New York and on the grounds of the US Open near Arthur Ashe Stadium.