Who's going to dress the world's best tennis player? Yesterday, Novak Djokovic cut ties with his apparel sponsor the retro-cool Sergio Tacchini. The cash-strapped Italian designer couldn't afford to pay him and failed to manufacture enough clothing to get his outfits into stores, Darren Rovell reported.
So with the Nike and Adidas sportswear behemoths out there waiting, who swoops in and signs the Djoker to a five-year deal? Japanese retailer Uniqlo, the maker of colorful and affordable basics for the skinny, boppy urbanite.
It's a far cry from being a billboard for a fashion designer or a sporting-goods corporation. This is like signing with The Gap. Uniqlo's sporting-goods inventory doesn't go much beyond shorts. So Djokovic gets shirts and shorts adorned with the logo found on Uniqlo shopping bags.
It will only be a few days before we see him in his new duds. Women's Wear Daily reports, "Djokovic will debut his new Uniqlo kit at the French Open tournament at Roland Garros, which kicks off on here May 27."
This may be just the beginning for Uniqlo. The retailer also brought on the far less prominent Japanese player and ATP ranked no. 18 Kei Nishikori back in April.
But since Uniqlo is new to the tennis-apparel business, and is, well, a store, it cannot complete Djoker's outfit head-to-toe—unless he's going to play in flip-flops. If you want the complete Djoker outfit and you happen in Manhattan, you'll have to start at Uniqlo's Soho branch on Broadway, then head two blocks north to the Adidas store for his red-and-blue sneakers.