Tap dancing on her toes behind the baseline, Caroline Wozniacki often looks like she’s bouncing to the beat of music she hears in her head. Expect that to continue next week in Melbourne, when the world No. 1 brings ballerina style to the Slam dance that is the Australian Open.
Wozniacki will start the new year in new gear, sporting an adidas ballerina dress in immaculate white with a playful pop of orange in the Seamless Performance bra and hot pant. The new clothes are part of an off-season makeover, as Wozniacki also switched racquets from Babolat to Yonex.
Designed by Stella McCartney (daughter of Beatles legend and noted tennis fan Sir Paul McCartney), the white Ten Performance Dress is a part of adidas’ Stella McCartney SS 11 (spring/summer 2011) collection and represents a color departure for Wozniacki, who wore a dark green McCartney design with optic yellow hot pant (and matching yellow fingernail polish) at the 2010 U.S. Open. The detail surrounding the waist is part of McCartney’s effort to “redefine and challenge traditional sports silhouettes.”
“It’s really exciting for me to work with Caroline and to see her wearing my designs in some of the most important tennis events of the year,” McCartney said.
The collaboration between McCartney’s designs and Wozniacki’s success has made tennis a winner, as some of the fashions have burst from the court to the pop culture pages.
“It’s really cool because adidas’ partnership with Stella McCartney elevates tennis fashion to high fashion and it makes Caroline completely unique as she’s the only one wearing it,” says Heidi Gotchal, apparel buyer for TennisWarehouse.com, the only online licensed tennis specialty store of adidas by Stella McCartney in the United States. “Tennis fashion is now making the front page of Yahoo! and other news sites during Grand Slam play, and that’s exciting for tennis and great exposure for the game.”
The new design fuses traditional tennis white with technological innovation in the pleated under-layer of the Seamless Performance bra and hot pant, which come as part of the dress. The red-orange wrist bands (adidas calls the color “infrared”) play off the color of the orange underwear range, which is made with adidas’ Climalite technology.
“Adidas has done a really good job incorporating what it does best, creating high performance sportswear, and merging it with Stella McCartney’s designs, so you get the best of both worlds,” Gotchal says.
Fast feet and quick court coverage are key components to Wozniacki’s success, and McCartney has highlighted the 20-year-old Dane’s flair for movement with a flowing pleated skirt on the ballerina dress. On her feet, Wozniacki will wear the adidas Eileithyia tennis shoe, in white, infrared and metallic silver. The shoe’s structure is based on adidas’ classic Barricade chasis, which the brand says provides “midfoot stability, flexibility and cushioning for maximum comfort.” Suggested retail price of the shoes is $130.
The 2009 U.S. Open finalist produced the best year of her career last season, posting a 62-17 record and winning a WTA-best six titles. Sales of the adidas by Stella McCartney line soared during her run to the U.S. Open semis.
“It helps (sales) tremendously that Caroline has been winning,” Gotchal says. “During the U.S. Open, we sold out of her U.S. Open dress. They’re beautiful clothes so people are interested in them anyway, but when people see Caroline on court they sell even faster and the fact Tennis Warehouse is the only online source gives us exclusivity, which helps.”
While Wozniacki’s apparel should play well on the Grand Slam stage, if you’re looking to play in it yourself, you’ll first need to purchase a plane ticket. The identical white Ten Performance dress is not part of the adidas by Stella McCartney line sold in the U.S., but it will be available globally. Similar adidas by Stella McCartney designs are available online at Tennis Warehouse, though some of the more form-fitting dresses require a sleek physique to wear.
“Some of the pieces are geared more toward the very fit woman because of the design; for instance the U.S. Open dress Caroline wore came with a pretty short skirt,” Gotchal says. “There are some real compression body pieces, but there are also a lot of different pieces within the collection, so there’s something for everyone.”
The spring/summer 2011 collection will be available in over 600 retail stores—including high-end department stores such as Nordstrom, Harrods and Crawford—as well as adidas Sports Performance and Stella McCartney stores.