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Style Points: Coco Gauff's New Balance signature shoe empire keeps expanding
With celebrities rocking Coco CG1s, new colorways in the works and buzzy artist collabs—plus a freshly inked New Balance contract extension—the 18-year-old’s star continues to rise.
Published Nov 15, 2022
FLASHBACK: ZipRecruiter Player Resume: Coco Gauff, New Balance star, now has a signature shoe
When Coco Gauff unveiled her signature New Balance Coco CG1 tennis shoes this summer, the 18-year-old entered rarefied air in the worlds of sport and fashion.
Gauff was already the lone active women’s tennis player to release a signature shoe, in August when the CG1s in “Pompey” and “DigiCoco” colorways launched during the lead-up to the US Open Series, and once On Running-clad Roger Federer officially retired a month later, the teenager became the only active player in the sport to feature her own signature tennis shoe.
New Balance wasted no time in strengthening their relationship with a player they signed at the age of 14, announcing a “long-term extension” with Gauff ahead of the WTA Finals.
“I couldn’t ask for a more committed team that is forward-thinking in their approach and match my love for the game with their passion for quality and creativity,” Gauff said in a statement. “New Balance has supported me since my junior tennis years and has been by my side for the biggest moments of my career.”
“The team feels like family, so it was an easy decision to extend with a team that has embraced me as a person and genuinely works to help bring out my best.”
Gauff’s signature shoes are inspired by classic basketball silhouettes—they hit higher on the ankle than the average tennis shoe—and ooze a vintage ‘90s aesthetic.
“I took inspiration from basketball shoes and a mid-cut isn’t really done in tennis so I wanted it to be unique in that way,” Gauff told Complex. “I also wanted the shoe to be looked at like something you could wear on or off the court and I really like the street-style feel to a mid-cut.”
The shoes also feature plenty of personal touches throughout, inspired by the player’s life and background: Her autograph decorates the tongue of the CG1s, her dad’s mantra (“You can change the world with your racket”) is inscribed on the right toe, and the left toe indicates the coordinates of Pompey Park—a reference to the Delray Beach tennis courts where Gauff learned the game while growing up.
Despite a lackluster finish, Gauff’s 2022 season has been marked by a constellation of new career highs—including her first Grand Slam final appearance at Roland Garros, rising to world No. 1 in doubles and becoming the youngest player since 2005 to qualify for the WTA Finals.
The 18-year-old, who rose as high as world No. 4 in singles this year, is seeing her star rise off the court too. Gauff is one of the faces of New Balance’s global “We Got Now” campaign, which highlights the future tastemakers in sport and culture, starring alongside the likes of Jaden Smith, Jack Harlow and Raheem Sterling.
And last week, NBA fashion watchers spotted fellow New Balance ambassador Kahwi Leonard wearing Gauff’s CG1s in the Pompey colorway during the LA Clippers versus LA Lakers game. Gauff shared the photos on her Instagram story, with the caption "Kahwi Spotted in the CG1s".
She’s also been making waves with a few buzzworthy artist collaborations and one-off customized shoes, too.
In celebration of her favorite holiday, Gauff’s Halloween kit during the WTA Finals featured an exclusive custom design by artist Travis E. Spinks. The artist, who previously customized an Arc’teryx jacket for rapper Drake, lent his signature neon lightning bolts to her CG1s and warmup jacket.
At the Billie Jean King Cup Finals a week later, Gauff had another pair of fresh kicks—this time in a red, white and blue Team USA custom version:
While these latest exclusive designs haven't been made available for purchase, Gauff has continued to expand her own CG1 stable with the recent addition of a third colorway. She sported the new "All In The Family" look (below) during her matches in Fort Worth.
"When working with Coco on this colorway we discussed the powerful properties found in crystals and how they are used to celebrate new beginnings," said Cordell Jordan, a New Balance footwear designer.
"The dark green and red found in the All in the Family colorway represent her heart and root chakras, which stands for the vision and passion she has on and off the court, all while keeping her grounded and humble through it all."
Considering how much she has already accomplished—both on and off the court—before her 21st birthday, it’s safe to say that New Balance’s famous 2018 gamble on Gauff as a talented junior has more than paid off. And with the teenager poised to keep building on her progress in 2023, her tennis clout and budding sneaker empire are set to only get bigger.
"It's an absolute dream come true to be able to put my stamp on this sport with New Balance and hopefully inspire generations to come," Gauff recently told Forbes. "I am really excited to see how people wear this shoe, on and off the court."
The Coco CG1s are available at New Balance stores and online, and retail for $170 USD.