Jannik Sinner’s Gucci Travel Bag: A Fashionable Statement at Wimbledon
Italian tennis player Jannik Sinner makes a statement as he enters Center Court at Wimbledon on Monday 3 July. Sinner slung a bespoke Gucci travel bag over his shoulder, rather than the usual humble gear bag. Captivating onlookers, this gorgeous piece features the brand’s signature monogram pattern and embroidered Sinner’s name on the classic tricolor webbing. Although the bag required special permission from officials due to its off-white colour, it was reappeared in the quarterfinals.
Throughout Wimbledon’s history, big-name players have often flaunted their fashion choices on the prestigious court. As early as 1931, French fashion house founder Elsa Schiaparelli designed a tennis culottes for Lili de Alvarez. In 1965, Lea Pericoli made a fashion statement in a rose-encrusted mini dress by designer Teddy Tinling.
More recently, players like Serena Williams have caused a stir at the US Open with her controversial bodysuit and off-white tulle tennis skirt. In 2021, Grand Slam winner Emma Raducanu became the face of Dior, Tiffany & Co. and even attended the Met Gala, further blurring the lines between fashion and tennis.
Breaking Boundaries: The Evolution of Style in Tennis and the Rise of Male Fashion on the Court
While female players are at the forefront of fashion in tennis, male players have fewer opportunities for self-expression. Since the 1990s, men’s court style has largely been limited to white apparel and sponsorships from the likes of Adidas and Nike. However, this is not always the case. Arthur Ashe, the first black man to win Wimbledon in 1975, accepted the trophy in a navy blue uniform that has become an iconic symbol. Sweden’s Björn Borg is known for his Babe Ruth-inspired Fila pinstriped polo shirts, while 1987 men’s singles champion Pat Cash regularly Wearing a gorgeous checkerboard headband broke the then-new rule that all accessories had to be white. Andre Agassi famously boycotted the event between 1988 and 1990 because he disliked the all-white dress code and how restrictive it was to opulent clothing options.
Wimbledon’s dress code has been stricter since 1995, stipulating that attire must be “almost all white”, effectively suppressing personal style on court. However, attitudes are gradually changing. In a big change this year, players can wear dark underwear during their period – a step towards being more inclusive.
The loosening of uniform rules could lead to a name change for male tennis stars. Luxury fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci have taken notice of these rising stars. World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, 20, became a Louis Vuitton brand ambassador last month and recently appeared in a Calvin Klein ad campaign. Jannik Sinner will also be a Gucci ambassador in 2022. The next generation of tennis players is even experimenting with jewelry: Russian player Andrey Rublev wears layered silver pendants, and Nick Kyrgios regularly wears double hoop earrings.
However, despite the significance of Sinner’s Gucci handbag as the first high-end luggage to hit the London market, it was not the moment of change that fashion lovers were looking forward to. The extensive approval process between the ITF, PTA and Wimbledon suggests that spontaneous displays of individual style go a long way. Last year, Kyrgios was cautioned for wearing red and gold Air Jordan 1 Lows during a postgame interview. Still, it’s a step in a new direction. As Sinner told WWD, “This bag is going to be the talk of the town.”