With Tennis Stars George Loffhagen & Emma Cohen, Gucci Heads to the Courts

After the years-long crescendo of ‘quiet luxury’ and ‘coastal chic,’ both easily identified by their classic ‘prep’ style — a posh palette of cream, chestnut, and navy reigns supreme — it seems only natural that tennis, too, would make a comeback. Propelled by Challengers, this spring’s cinematic supernova featuring Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist, and Zendaya, tennis-core is back with a vengeance. Launched alongside players Emma Cohen and George Loffhagen, the Gucci Tennis Special Collection — a capsule filled with clean lines, contemporary colours, and nostalgic silhouettes — declares that tennis fashion is here to stay.

Although the resurgence is a fairly recent phenomenon, tennis and fashion have a storied past. Country club archetypes have inspired many-a-designer. In fact, Gucci’s archival works lit the match for the Tennis Special Collection. Just glancing at the offerings — tennis shoes in white canvas; duffle bags and racquet backpacks embossed with shiny, white-on-white GG monograms; crisp and polished polo shirts — it’s easy to picture Sabato De Sarno, Gucci’s newly-appointed creative director, paging through vintage sketches. He’s retooled each look for the modern day, infusing contemporary confidence into every thread.

In the collection, De Sarno revisits the Tennis 1977 sneakers — perhaps the most recognizable of Gucci’s tennis-ready looks. As one of the first sneakers by a luxury fashion house, the original design was a trailblazer. Bearing the classic green-and-red Gucci stripe, the Tennis 1977 launched a new era for both sneakers and fashion houses. Subsequent luxury kicks, from Prada’s runway-ready PS0906 to Lanvin’s patent cap-toe sneaker, can credit their success to Gucci’s visionary release. In a sense, the Tennis 1977’s casual-luxury sensibilities made it an early predecessor of the high-fashion and streetwear collaborations that are so ubiquitous today: think Dior and ERL or Zegna and The Elder Statesman. Today’s Tennis 1977, composed of squeaky-clean canvas and leather, remains as proud and preppy as ever.

Shoes, of course, are only the beginning. The collection is jam-packed with court-inspired accessories, from pristine cotton-blend sports towels to classic GG canvas tennis visors. There’s even a cheeky set of wristbands in green and red.

You’ll find signature, green-red-green Gucci stripes throughout the entire collection. The Web motif is at its flashiest as it runs down the centre of a white, cotton-piquet polo. An audacious, modern pop of colour jolts the traditional polo silhouette out of its slumber, rejuvenating a classic cut.

Exclusive displays in Milan, London and Paris launch the Gucci Tennis Special Collection with a splash. If you’re located elsewhere, however, there’s no need to fret: shoppers can access all the new Gucci apparel online.

Creative Director: Sabato De Sarno

Stylist: Melissa Levy

Hair: Ramona Eschbach

Photographer: Davit Giorgadze

Make-Up: Stephanie Kunz

Talents: George Loffhagen and Emma Cohen