An RF-monogrammed zip-up with gold piping, the jacket sported the quantity 15 – the record-breaking whole of grand slam titles Federer had gained upon his match victory – in cursive embroidery.
Was it presumptuous? Had Fed introduced it out hidden in his bag in quiet hope? Or did a Nike consultant hand it to him earlier than the trophy presentation? No matter it was, the jacket generated loads of column inches, identical to Federer’s apparel all through that 12 months’s match. Take the swimsuit trousers teamed with a military-inspired jacket – a kind of All England Membership Sergeant Pepper – below which he wore a tailored waistcoat, solely stripping all the way down to shorts after the warmup. Then there have been the subtly pinstriped shirts, and even gold-accented trainers. This was the sort of aesthetic panache Federer was changing into identified for.
Now, with final week’s information of his retirement, following Serena Williams’ announcement in August, tennis (and sport normally) has misplaced considered one of its most trendy protagonists. Federer has had fairly the sartorial journey. From a roll name of dodgy hairstyles (peroxide home dye job, awkward top-knot, greasy pony-tail, and wearing his suit trousers back-to-front, to the perfect pal of US Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. Federer is a frequent front-row attendee, Rolex ambassador and designer. Oh, and according to LVMH chief Bernard Arnault, a “residing god”.
It’s an unlucky cliche with trendy males, however Federer credit his spouse, Mirka, together with his preliminary vogue awakening, once telling GQ: “I used to put on jogging sneakers, denims and a follow shirt, then when Mirka met me, she would look and go, ‘Errr, are you positive about this look?’
“Then, I began actually entering into it. I used to be travelling extra and going to completely different cities and assembly fascinating folks. The following factor you recognize, you go searching your self – perhaps it’s in Milan, in New York, wherever – and also you discover everyone seems to be giving it an excellent effort.”
Ever since, Federer’s smooth, refined fashion off the courtroom has matched his gentlemanly one-handed backhand and balletic volleys on it. Off-court, he loves a turtle neck; a wise, well-cut wool coat with the collar worn up; sweater draped over his shoulders; double-breasted fits. However he’s additionally not afraid to combine it up with bomber, denim and leather-based jackets, gingham button-downs, colourful sneakers.
He has hands-on design involvement with Uniqlo, with whom he signed a $300 million, 10-year deal in 2018, ending his longstanding affiliation with Nike. Federer approached the Japanese model, well-known for its snug, pleasing fundamentals, and he collaborates intently with designer Christophe Lemaire, who’s artistic director at Uniqlo’s analysis and improvement centre in Paris; and he has sure edicts (no yellow). Consolation is his primary precedence, intently adopted by aptitude.
Individually, Federer has a footwear cope with the Swiss model On, together with his line reasonably amusingly – to British audiences not less than – known as The Roger Assortment. His signature shoe, The Roger Pro, which started life with a 3D scan of his personal foot, bought out when it launched final 12 months. In the meantime, the Roger Benefit mannequin is Stan Smith ranges of understated.
He has turn into an astute analyst of his private fashion previous, and that of his sport normally. He recognises, for example, the long-gone days of the looser match, and now actively embraces a sleeker silhouette on the courtroom, telling GQ journal: “Was I crazy to wear XL at 17? You need to suppose you’re huge and buff. Now [players] look stronger and slimmer.”
He (maybe cheekily, however totally precisely) used Rafa Nadal’s unlucky capri-wearing period as an example of how important image is for the fashionable sports activities star. However Federer refuses to be harsh on his youthful self concerning the pony-tail period: “The whole lot was a part of an evolutionary course of. Do I remorse having lengthy hair? No, I’m completely satisfied I had it and I’m completely satisfied I removed it once more!”
He’s happy with his progressive method, together with his striking all-black ensembles on the US Open, which gave the vibe of a racquet-wielding murderer throughout night time classes. Of his time with Nike – which he fought for more than two years for the return of the rights to the RF monogram – he told GQ magazine:
“We tried to push the envelope – typically a bit an excessive amount of. However it was effective. These moments keep memorable, and I used to be keen to take probabilities. I’ve tried to carry a little bit bit of fashion into tennis.”
Generally he did go too far. At the least, in keeping with the Wimbledon officers who banned his orange-soled shoes in 2013, deeming them a breach of the strict all-white gown coverage. However, he has by no means been reproached, as such, in the best way that, say, Williams was (most memorably when the president of the French Tennis Federation appeared to name her Roland Garros catsuit disrespectful). Federer has by no means been accused of caring extra for fashion over substance, which maybe displays enduring double requirements.
Though Federer has – together with Williams on the ladies’s aspect of the game – finished greater than anybody to progress the fashionable tennis aesthetic and convey athletes into the world of vogue, he isn’t, strictly talking, the primary.
Federer has alluded to the actual fact his preppy, V-neck knit cardigans worn on Centre Court docket had been a throwback to the likes of tennis champions René Lacoste and Fred Perry (who based their eponymous manufacturers in 1933 and 1952 respectively). Suzanne Lenglen, the charismatic ladies’s world primary within the Nineteen Twenties, had a propensity for strolling on to the courtroom in glamorous furs. Arthur Ashe performed in Buddy Holly specs, and, when fashions modified, aviators. And also you may say that Andre Agassi cultivated a doubtful sort of “pirate chic”. However, particularly within the males’s sport, Federer’s affect on his youthful colleagues and the broader tennis sphere is plain.
The Bulgarian participant and Vogue favourite Grigor Dimitrov dabbles in modelling. Flame-haired younger gun Jannik Sinner has graced the covers of GQ and Icon magazines, and, earlier this 12 months, he announced a partnership with Gucci. Italy’s chiselled Matteo Berrettini has a capsule collection with Hugo Boss. Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime regarded notably dapper at last year’s Met Gala in New York. Even Andy Murray has a range of sportswear, AMC.
It’s not unfeasible that Federer will transfer into vogue full-time after his retirement. First, he performs his ultimate match in London this weekend. Final month, Williams wore a diamond-encrusted cape to bid her personal farewell on the US Open. The bar is ready excessive. All eyes on Federer then – and his jacket.