The common wisdom is that if you want to look like a real New Yorker, wear all black. Roger Federer will be doing just that when he steps out onto the courts of Arthur Ashe Stadium this week in a sleek, all-black uniform courtesy of Uniqlo. It might seem like a far departure from Federer’s typical tennis whites or reds, but the dark, monochrome incorporates all the style flourishes Federer loves—a stand collar, technical mesh, and a little white piping flair. What’s more, the look was created by Uniqlo’s research and design teams in Paris, headed up by Christophe Lemaire, meaning that this sport uniform is also fashion week ready.
And maybe you will see show-goers at the Spring 2020 collections wearing Federer’s new tennis blacks. The entire kit will be on-sale at Uniqlo stores, allowing for tennis pros and fashion pros to get the look. Even better: Federer himself will be making an appearance at Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue location this Tuesday, August 20th in conversation with Derek Blasberg. The first 150 customers at the location—which will open early at 9 a.m.—who spend over $75 will get a ticket to the exclusive talk. Who knows, you might even get to see the always-fashionable Federer get in a quick bit of shopping after. Though he says he doesn’t have much time to peruse the racks while in New York, he admits the “flagships along Fifth Ave” are some of his favorites. “I like being able to find literally everything in New York,” he tells Vogue. Here’s hoping he finds another US Open win here too.
How did you settle on an all black outfit for the US Open? Do you feel like it’s resonates with a New York City vibe?
New York City is always a favorite stop on the tour. I wanted to bring something elevated to the U.S. Open, and feel the black is a strong finale look for the Grand Slam. It also resonates with memories I have of playing here in the evening under the lights.
The US Open draws a pretty fashionable crowd; do you feel more pressure to have a certain on-court look here versus other tournaments?
The pressure is always on. I do feel an elevated sense of style here. I’m lucky to work so closely with Christophe Lemaire, the artistic director of Uniqlo’s Paris R&D Center, and the consideration that goes behind the aesthetic or traditions of each tournament location paired with my style preferences.
Are there any specific dos or don’ts when it comes to your on-court outfit?
Comfort is always number one. The Uniqlo design team is committed to ensuring every last detail is perfect, and I spend time testing out different cuts and fabric technologies to ensure what I’m wearing moves with me.
Are there any signatures of your off-court style that you like to incorporate into your playing outfits?
I always like a good layering piece—whether off the court with a crew neck sweater or on the court with a zip-up.
Now that you’ve been partnered with Uniqlo for a year, have you seen many people wearing the RF garments? What is it like to see people emulating your style?
Yes! I love the accessibility of Uniqlo. With it not being a typical sportswear brand, it brings a wider audience to the world of tennis. And at the same time, introduces tennis fans to some amazing everyday essentials the brand is known for. It’s great to see fans get as hooked on it as I am.