US sportswear giant Nike has unveiled its new bold Australian Open range a couple of weeks before the first Grand Slam of the year.
This new Nike outfit has gotten people talking. Nike-sponsored women like Bianca Andreescu and Madison Keys will don a yellow bodysuit with a watercolor pastel-patterned dress (or skirt) on top.
The patterns throughout the men’s and women’s apparel were created by Australian-raised artist Cassie Byrnes, who finds inspiration through the tropical beauty of North Queensland, translating it onto watercolor paper through pigment inks and gouache. “I start with a considered palette and story,” she says. “Then I play with mark-making, texture, and composition to capture the essence and spirit of the theme.”
The opening slam in Melbourne boasts a loud and noisy atmosphere, drawing an annual attendance of more than 700,000. Melbourne also tracks the hottest temperatures of any of tennis’ four majors. To account for the temperatures during play, NikeCourt designers developed a knee-length bodysuit for women as a baselayer. The type of clothing designed by Byrnes is to keep players cool in the scorching heat of Melbourne.
A base garment serves a double purpose: Many players want to combine the cooler outfit with unique ways to present themselves on the court. Athletes across the draw can select tanks, crop tops and skirts — all featuring patterns from Australian artist Cassie Byrnes — to accent their respective looks. For example, while Bianca Andreescu might choose to wear just the bodysuit, Madison Keys may layer atop a tennis skirt. The combinations between the bodysuit, the patterns, and the supporting garments run a spectrum of player preferences.
— Grigor. (@Scores_WTA) January 3, 2020
The men’s apparel sublimates Byrnes’ whimsical graphics directly onto the fabrics in spots that encourage stylistic improvisation. An example is in the men’s polo, revealing the cloud pastel pattern under the collar. Other examples are more obvious, such as in the all-over pattern of the men’s warm-up jacket.
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The NikeCourt Melbourne full collection will release globally on January 13.