Adidas is setting the stage for the next generation of tennis athletes. Alongside South African designer Thebe Magugu, the sports giant is launching an inclusive collection of tennis apparel and footwear celebrating culture and heritage.
When developing the collection, the duo decided to start with their shared love of the game and the concept of kinship. Viewership and funding in the professional sport have historically leaned on male athletes, and Thebe Magugu and Adidas are aiming to create a more balanced playing field through unisex styles, gender-neutral pieces, and inclusive sizing.
Game on — Key pieces from the capsule include an Avacourt sneaker, tennis dress, versatile shorts, 2-in-1 tights, T-shirts, and tank tops. The color palette ranges from lilac to a gray with accents of orange and yellow throughout. On a couple of pieces you’ll see a graphic of a dancing woman, in which Thebe Magugu revealed a design designed during the lockdown. The free-spirited illustration supports “the collection’s intentions to spread joyous celebration” and was designed by the brand’s illustrator Phathu Nembilwi.
The Avacourt sneaker debuted earlier this year and now appears in monochromatic orange or lilac. It was built with women’s feet in mind using insights from female tennis players, anthropometric data, and biomechanical testing. The shoe’s torsion was adjusted to allow for more flexible movement, a key differentiator from men’s tennis footwear.
All for one, one for all — Regardless of their gender, size, or physical capabilities, athletes can benefit from the materials and fit of each piece. Adidas and Thebe Magugu were adamant about maintaining inclusivity and used UniteFit technology to offer a gender-neutral fit. Sustainability is also a driving design factor, as Adidas incorporates Made With Nature fabrics and at least 60 percent recycled content for the entire capsule.
“Tennis still has a way to go until it is fully accessible for all,” Aliassime said in the press release. “But we all have a role to play in shaping this global community.” Kasatkina added that being yourself in an unapologetic way is one of the most important but challenging parts of life. “I want to use my platform to inspire positive change in the sport and pave the way for future tennis athletes to be their true, authentic selves, no matter what challenges they face,” she said.
You can shop the Thebe Magugu and Adidas Tennis collection now on the adidas website and app. Prices range from $78 to $156, and sizes cover a broad range. Brands have made great strides in making sports more inclusive for women, but the Adidas project is working to include everyone else, too.