Cen­tre Court Style

SLOW Magazine - - Must Go -

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.

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