On the occasion of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) annual pre-Wimbledon party and in honour of the 125th anniversary of Wimbledon, the WTA and the British Fashion Council, an organisation charged with promoting British fashion internationally, unveiled a unique partnership celebrating the strong connection between the stars of women’s tennis and the world of fashion. The aim of the WTA-British Fashion Council collaboration is to feature British designers, raise the off-court profile of the stars of women’s tennis, and further extend the link between the sport and fashion.
Through this one-of-a-kind project, a select group of WTA stars will be dressed in customised dresses, created specifically for them by such quintessentially British designers as Stella McCartney, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson, Richard Nicoll, Hussein Chalayan, and David Koma, among others. Many of the designers will be accompanying the WTA stars to the annual pre-Wimbledon party - co-hosted for the sixth year in a row by the WTA and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group at Kensington Rooftop Gardens in London on June 16th, 2011 - and show off their creations to the global media. The dresses will be auctioned off during Wimbledon with the proceeds to be equally split between WTA charities and the British Fashion Council’s Princess of Wales Charitable Trust.
“The WTA’s partnership with the British Fashion Council provides our players with a unique opportunity to work with some of London’s most talented creative minds,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. “Women’s tennis has always had a link to the fashion of the time, and we are very pleased to be able to collaborate with the British Fashion Council to share our players’ interest in fashion and style with some of the world’s best fashion designers.”
Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, commented: “This project is an ideal opportunity to build relationships between our British designers and some of today’s most iconic female athletes. The link between fashion and sport is increasingly important and never more so than at the most famous of the tennis tournaments - Wimbledon. Over the coming months we will be announcing our plans for London 2012 and how we will celebrate creativity during the Olympic year - this seems the perfect way to lead into twelve months of exciting activity."
The designer-player partnerships have been established based on the cultural similarities or previous working relationships of players with certain fashion personalities. World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, who serves as the face of adidas by stella mccartney, will continue her collaboration with Stella, while five-time Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams will wear a special dress created for her by Burberry. A long-time supporter of Ms. Williams, Burberry dressed Serena in 2010 for the Wimbledon Gala which celebrated her last Grand Slam win. Vera Zvonareva will be dressed by Hussein Chalayan, a British designer of Turkish descent since, fittingly, the 2011 WTA Championships will take place in Istanbul later on this year. Roland Garros Champion Li Na will be dressed by Giles Deacon, a designer popular with customers in Hong Kong. Russian teenage prodigy and Roland Garros quarterfinalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will be wearing a special dress created for her by David Koma, a British designer with Russian roots. Additional designers involved in the project include Matthew Williamson (Ana Ivanovic), Vivienne Westwood (Jelena Jankovic), Mary Katrantzou (Samantha Stosur), Mulberry (Heather Watson), Temperley (Laura Robson), Richard Nicoll (Andrea Petkovic), and many others. Nicholas Kirkwood, who was named Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards 2010, will be providing shoes for the occasion.
The annual pre-Wimbledon party kicks off one of the most exciting sporting events in the world and is co-hosted by the WTA and the Virgin Group. The event annually attracts the world’s best female tennis players and a host of celebrities. This year, Range Rover signed on as the Official Partner of the event and will showcase its newest vehicle – the Range Rover Evoque.
Image: Backstage at Matthew Williamson spring/summer 2011 at London Fashion Week September 2010
Mary Jane Orman, WTA, +44.7881.623486, firstname.lastname@example.org