Centre Court Style
There is a popular saying that Summer bodies are made in Winter. This is intended to serve as motivation to brave the cold and stay active. It’s a philosophy that seems to have found wide appeal, and is especially noticeable over weekend brunch, when more and more people are popping into their favourite coffee shop in active wear, either having just finished a gym session, a run, or a bike ride in the countryside.
The trend for stylish active wear that can be worn beyond the actual activity remains strong. While many ranges still focus strongly on being “on trend” – in other words, being comfortable and sportylooking but still rooted in fashion – some brands have perfected the art of being sporty, yet stylish and elegant.
The inspiration for such a range of clothing comes from the tennis court. While not immensely popular in South Africa, tennis is one of the most elegant sports out there. As British novelist Martin Amis summed it up: “[Tennis:] the most perfect combination of athleticism, artistry, power, style, and wit. A beautiful game, but one so remorselessly travestied by the passage of time.”
Founded in 1966 with the aim of creating elegant and stylish tennis wear for men and women, the eponymous Sergio Tacchini brand immediately stood out. This was partly because it was the brainchild of a well-known tennis player (Tacchini was an international singles player, and played in the Davis Cup for Italy from 1959 to 1966), but also because it used colours in its designs at a time when tennis players wore only white.
For more than a decade, the Sergio Tacchini brand was synonymous with Italian style and was worn by some of the greatest tennis champions in the world, including John Mcenroe, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini, and Pete Sampras, to name but a few. One of Italy’s most iconic players, Lea Pericoli, went a step further by designing her own dresses for Tacchini to produce.
Throughout the 1980s, Sergio Tacchini widened its portfolio of sponsorships by embracing sports as diverse as Formula 1 with Ayrton Senna and Carlos Reutemann, skiing with Marc Girardelli and Pirmin Zurbriggen, and golf with Ian Woosnam. In this era, footwear and accessories were added to the collection, as well as product offerings in new sectors such as beachand leisurewear.
Thanks to the strong focus on product development across all its clothing lines, the company succeeded in creating a totallook brand by the early 1990s, appealing to anyone wanting to bridge the gap between sport and style. In fact, thanks to Tacchini’s exceptional celebrity testimonials and endorsements, his brand became a benchmark in sportswear across the globe. So big was the following, that in 1991 the company opened its first mono-brand store in Turin, Italy. Seen as a revolution in sportswear retailing, its success gave rise to 200 such stores throughout Europe by the end of the 1990s.
With such a phenomenal history, it is no surprise that the brand has, over the years, evolved into a premium leisurewear brand steeped in heritage. It remains a brand of authenticity, derived from its tennis DNA, and focused almost entirely on Italian style, infusing it with innovation and quality, and then combining these elements into garments with iconic, tennis-inspired lines. The garments feature brilliant attention to detail, and are made from some of the finest materials available.
Former world No 1 and eight-time Grand Slam winner, Andre Agassi, is quoted as saying, “Advantage, service, fault, break, love – the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature.” I like to think that Sergio Tacchini understood this when he founded his brand. Thanks to his vision, you can now dress the part too.
For more information, please visit www.sergiotacchini.com.