The ranks of Black female tennis phenoms with fashion collections just swelled a little. On Wednesday, Coco Gauff joined fellow fashionable ladies of the court Serena and Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka as she introduced her first collection with her sponsor, New Balance.
Per a press release from the brand:
Today, global athletic leader New Balance, together with Coco Gauff, the youngest ranked player in the top 100, unveil the New Balance Coco Gauff Collection, exclusively with Foot Locker Women. Since signing with New Balance in 2018 at the age of 14, Coco Gauff has broken many firsts: she is the youngest player in the history to qualify for the main draw of Wimbledon and is the youngest American to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam since 1997.
The New Balance Coco Gauff Collection features the fashion-forward 327 lifestyle footwear model, as well as apparel pieces inspired by her love of the ‘90s. The bright colors and graphic designs found throughout the collection are reminiscent of the decade that have influenced Coco’s style and were the focus of brainstorm conversations with the New Balance design team.
“Coco is an exceptional young woman on and off the court and we loved working with her!” said New Balance Senior Product Manager for Global Lifestyle Apparel Brittany Branch in a statement. “We wanted to make sure that the same excitement Coco brought to all our design meetings was reflected in her collection and we are thrilled to see the product come to market while she is playing in NY,” she continued. “When it came to the design of this collection, Coco drew a lot of inspiration from the ‘90s and the energy that comes from New York City.”
“I loved working with the design team on the inspiration boards and seeing it fully come to life at the photo shoot was a dream come true,” said Gauff in a statement. Notably, the collection is anchored by a graphic print “inspired by Coco’s appreciation for graffiti and street art,” which is a stylized rendering of the 17-year-old athlete’s own signature. “I wanted to push it with the graphics and fit of the collection, so I am pumped to finally see it in store and let fans get their hands on it,” she added.
Fans won’t have to wait; the entire collection, which includes a windbreaker, jogger, fitted shorts and various tops, will debut on both New Balance and Foot Locker’s websites on Thursday, August 26. Also accessible is the price point: suggested retail prices range from $35 to $100 for apparel, and $89.99 for the 327 sneaker, which is a “color-blocked, blinged-out take,” according to Page Six Style, which spoke with Gauff as she promoted the line in New York on Tuesday, ahead of competing at the U.S. Open next week.
“It’s probably my biggest inspiration,” said the 17-year-old tennis star of how the decade prior to her birth influenced the collection. “It’s definitely inspired by the ’90s—a lot of oversized sweatpants and little shirts, which is what I like to wear off-court.”