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UNIQLO unveils latest tennis apparel collection in US

23
Aug '12
UNIQLO announces plans to launch its latest line of tennis apparel modeled after performance wear created for Novak Djokovic, world top-ranked male professional tennis player and UNIQLO global brand ambassador.

The line will launch in the United States on August 27 and in other markets around the world at a later date, details of which will be announced in due course.

In the U.S. the new range will go on sale at the UNIQLO 5th Avenue Store, the 34th Street Store and the Soho Store in New York City.

UNIQLO, the proud sponsor of Mr. Djokovic since May, will launch a total of 10 items for adults, ranging from warm up jackets and pants, to shirts, shorts and accessories. The tennis line will closely resemble the look and feel of the actual performance wear that Mr. Djokovic will wear at the 2012 U.S. Open Tournament that starts at Flushing Meadows, New York, on August 27.

Commenting on announcement, Shin Odake, Fast Retailing Group Officer and UNIQLO U.S. Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are very excited about introducing the Novak Djokovic replica tennis line first in the U.S., and to coincide our launch with the start of the U.S. Open. We hope the new line will be popular with our customers and tennis fans alike."

Naoki Takizawa, UNIQLO Creative Director, has been personally involved in designing all tennis apparel for Mr. Djokovic, starting with the 2012 French Open. "My inspiration for the very first designs came from Novak Djokovic himself and his country of origin, Serbia. In fact, it was the national flag of Serbia that actually inspired me when I started to think about the color and the design of his match wear," said Naoki Takizawa.

"I was inspired by the shapes of the wings of the eagles that are on the flag, and with this in mind I began to draw lines along the sides of his performance wear. In my mind, the design needed to be simple, so that it didn't interfere with his very precise playing style. At the same time the design needed to look strong."

"Regarding the fabric, I chose the newest product from Toray Industries, who is a close partner of UNIQLO and who specializes in creating innovative fabrics. When designing clothing such as performance wear what is important is that the fabric absorbs perspiration and dries quickly, while ensuring player comfort even in extreme match conditions. At UNIQLO we have a strong desire to help athletes give their best performance," Takizawa added.

"I am very impressed with the UNIQLO design philosophy," said Novak Djokovic. "Over a series of regular face to face meetings, which take place in-between tournaments, we discuss a number of details regarding overall design, types of fabrics and materials, and even colors." He added, "The UNIQLO creative team, led by Takizawa-san, understands the importance of achieving the right balance of these elements so that my performance wear can support my movement on the court and give me an extra boost of confidence when aiming for my points."


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