The second-best male tennis player in the world (Roger Federer took his number one title in July) Novak Djokovic has been pretty busy playing tennis and angrily cutting his Olympics racquets with a saw. Still, he had time to stop by the 5th Avenue Uniqlo flagship this morning for a meet and greet with his fans (there was a line around the block) and a press conference for the launch of his brand new Uniqlo collection.
Yep, the 25-year-old Serbian tennis star, who was recently announced as Uniqlo’s global brand ambassador and has been wearing specially-designed pieces by Uniqlo on the court since the French Open, collaborated with the retailer on a men’s performance wear collection that will hit stores next Monday, August 27–which, not incidentally, is the first day of the U.S. Open, where Djokovic is the defending men’s singles champion (we really know our tennis!).
Djokovic, who just so happens to be pretty attractive and speak four languages (we’re just really impressed), was wearing the newest collection, which he’ll sport on the court at the US Open. He looked great in it, as you can see above. They also had his uniforms from the French Open, Wimbeldon, and the London Olympics on display.
Also impressive: he was actually quite involved in the collaboration process and had a very close dialogue with Uniqlo’s creative director Naoki Takizawa, who made several trips to Monaco (where Djokovic lives) and other places around the world to meet with the tennis pro to discuss the collection.
“All the inspiration comes from him,” Takizawa, who started working on the collection in January, told us before the press conference. Their starting point was discussing what Djokovic wanted for his performance. “His balance, the movement is so good [on the court]; that’s why it was interesting [to work with him].”
“It’s very important from the perspective of a professional tennis player to have the most advanced materials and fabrics used and these materials absorb the sweat very quicky but don’t feel heavy,” Djokovic explained. “So I feel light, I feel comfortable in my movements on the court, which is very important.”
The tennis pro also worked in a nod to his home country. “[The colors were] inspired a little bit by the Serbian national flag, which I appreciate a lot,” he said, referencing some of the pieces he wore for the Olympics.
Speaking of which, when asked whether our preoccupation with what athletes wear on the court has taken away from the atheticism of the sports, Djokovic had a very diplomatic answer. “I think it’s good for tennis players to seek improvement with their sponsors and with the clothes that they wear…It’s in the common interest of tennis players and the brands representing them to look good on the court. We [Djokovic and Uniqlo] both have common goals and high ambitions.”
Click through to see the full collection, which ranges in price from $9.90-$89.90.