This is so 2021.
Trust the older brother of 2020 to make things awkward in the ‘better-looking’ sibling scenario. It’s about time the Australian Open embarked on a Ralph Lauren adventure, and this time, we’ll be joining while waving goodbye to a sluggish and downright ugly 2020.
Elegance and sophistication are the reputable associations that come to mind when thinking of the New York established fashion apparel, Ralph Lauren. Sporting class and elegance of classic designs and accessories, and familiarised as one of the largest men’s and women’s apparels in the world, it brings stimulating and promising ardour’s that the multibillion-dollar global luxury fashion house is set to style the Australian Open on-court officials in 2021 as announced last week.
Ralph Lauren’s collections typically adorn to collegian luxury with a vintage allure (favoured in the ’90s by John F. Kennedy Jr and wife Carolyne Bessette Kennedy) matching to the lifestyles of the fast and playful, however, the reputation of the brand had been revolutionised in a new direction in 1992, incorporating Polo Sport soon seeing the label in collaboration as the official outfitter for renowned sporting events on an international scale. Such partnerships include longstanding relationships with two Grand Slam tournaments: Wimbledon and The US Open along with The US Olympic and Paralympic teams, and The US Ryder Cup to name a few. Through the development of sustainable designs and eco-friendly practices, the label would go on to deliver a signature finesse of ‘luxurious and exuberant’ sporting attire which would unknowingly see the 90’s era become a highly sort out range on all vintage platforms.
It’s easy to believe our scorching summer temperatures would be a likely deterrent for any international designer – a challenge rightfully accepted by the apparel giant, designing an entire collection with ease inclusive of functional performance features like stretch, moisture-wicking properties and UV protection all tailored specifically for the endurance of movement. The ability for a designer to incorporate style and class with durable features reigns supreme amongst the fashion scene, and I think its unanimously agreed the Australian Open is a perfect ‘fit’ for Ralph Lauren’s elite outfitter portfolio.
Covid-19 may have halted our international sporting events, but it wasn’t long before word spread that the Australian Grand Slam was set to continue with a hint of style. Bring on our summer pleasures of copious tennis binging, unfavourable tan lines and accidental heatstroke. Not only are our sporting fanatics in a frenzy, but so too are our fashion enthusiasts. A sporting collaboration with a luxury American fashion apparel prevails as one of AO’s smoothest moves yet (bold call), and comes at a favourable time to rebrand our image from outdated to sporty elegance which may spark incoming rivalry throughout the international arena – Wimbledon, US Open, we’re following suit!
The saying of ‘when one looks good, they perform’ may seem pretentious but with well-respected athletes and high societal attendees serving ‘fashion’s on the court,’ it’s not only the facilities in demand of modernity but too, the aesthetic of uniform. Whilst the Australian Open is renowned for its ‘energy’ and ‘personality,’ David Lauren – Ralph Lauren’s Chief Innovation and Branding Officer – stated the valiant move was in “natural alignment” with the visionary of direction, style, and sustainable motives. In recent news, we saw Tennis Australia take action as the first Australian Sporting body to sign the United Nations Sports for Climate Change Action Framework, with the Australian Open set to inspire sustainability through driven awareness this January, in favour of the apparels mission for sustainable and ecofriendly designs.
So, what can our spectators anticipate from this collaboration? As the Australian Open embellishes a colourful and radiant perception renowned as the ‘Happy Slam’, and with the addition of luxurious sophistication, we’ll be gifted with contemporary and playful designs depictive of our Australian pride. David Lauren mentioned the tonal palette would likely include “a classic navy blazer for the umpires” and the remaining uniforms “in a bright colour palette to reflect the fun and modern spirit of the Australian tournament.” AO ball kids will be sporting signature polo shirts, skirts, shorts and caps made from yarn derived from recycled plastic bottles, and accessories depicting the classic sporting allure of the Polo tennis era.
If you’re impatiently waiting like us to update your wardrobe with the colourful array that awaits, you’ll be sadly disappointed as we won’t see the latest designs in stores until 2021. Better still, we’ll have exclusive access to an Australian first Create-Your-Own program for the duration of the tournament which is set to include customizations of initial engraving for polo shirts, pullovers and accessories – merch has never been so exciting!
Considering this collaboration is a long-term partnership, we’re guaranteed summer returns of new, playful and classic collections that will be sure to incorporate Ralph’s transient New York charm – most likely found in our online shopping carts when the opportunity arises, but who’s keeping score – so get ready for a summer fitted with style and we’ll see you courtside!