Solid & Striped Gets a Tennis Spin with a New Collab

Solid & Striped first launched with a line of maillots featuring some decidedly prep undertones—namely, cabana stripes and navy and white solids on easy tank suits. Which might make you think that a tennis collab and all its country club vibes would be right on brand. But Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens brought her own unique twist to her new collaboration with the now nearly 10-year-old swim brand.

The tennis pro integrated some of her favorite prints (like zebra), sultry silhouettes (cutout dresses), and sport elements (one-pieces you can move in) to her vibrant 23-piece swim and beachwear collection for the label. The pieces, photographed on the 28-year-old in a beautifully bougie setting by Ghanaian-American filmmaker and photographer Joshua Kissi, and styled by Ronald Burton, go on sale today and retail between $84 and $228. Below, Stephens talks inspiration, her go-to beach destinations, travel goals with her new fiancé, and her own interpretation of classic tennis style.

What was your inspiration for the collection?

It’s been quite the year, and I wanted to keep things positive by inspiring women to feel confident and like total bosses. Whether you’re planning a long-awaited post-quarantine vacation, or hanging out at home, you deserve to look and feel amazing—don’t forget that. In this collection, there are different silhouettes and fabrics to match your vibe. This collaboration is really a combination of both of our styles, and I hope people enjoy rocking the pieces as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Were you familiar with Solid & Striped before? What were your thoughts?

I immediately hit it off with Sarah [Landman], the CEO. I was familiar with the brand as a customer and was really drawn to their quality materials and the editorial look of their campaigns. I’m super interested in the business of fashion, and I thought the partnership would be an amazing opportunity to learn from the inside and also share my perspective. We worked with the Black in Fashion Council to build a diverse creative team both in front of and behind the camera, and I appreciate the team’s commitment to future diversity and inclusion.

Do you have a favorite piece from your collection?

Every piece really has such a personality and mood, so it totally depends on the day and situation. As part of the collection, we designed five new silhouettes: The Noel, The Glo, The Sybil, The Jozy, and, of course, The Sloane. They’re all named after important people in my life, and it was my way of including them as part of this process. My mom even joined the campaign shoot and wore The Sybil, so it’s really a family affair.

Do you like swimwear to have a sporty element?

Definitely. For this collection, I interpreted sporty to mean a great fit that allows you to be as active as you want without sacrificing style. In my day job, fit is everything because I need to be able to move and compete without worrying about adjusting my outfit after every point. Because I’ve been playing tennis for so long, I’m tuned in to those small details that influence how I feel. So in this collection, I focused on the details like seams, ruching, and the cut to make sure that your best assets are on point.

What are your feelings on classic tennis style? Is it something that resonates with you?

Tennis fashion is always evolving but still recognizes tradition. At Wimbledon, you’re wearing the latest styles and tech fabrics but still keeping up the tradition of tennis whites, it just adds a bit of history. I have a long-standing relationship with Rolex and have always been drawn to their timeless, classic pieces that are forever in style. At the US Open, you can really feed off the energy of the New York crowd and be a bit bolder.

In 2019, I collaborated with Jordan on a tennis sneaker, the NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero Aqua. I was born in 1993, the same year the Jordan VIIIs were released, so for me it was an opportunity to bring a throwback to the next generation of sneaker culture and also introduce them to the tennis world.

Where are your favorite beach destinations?

It’s hard not to love any beach, but I’d have to say my top four are Mykonos, Aruba, Hawaii, and South Florida. I went on a super-quick getaway to Mykonos a few years ago, and it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I shot my Sports Illustrated swim campaign in Aruba, so that will always be a favorite. My family goes to Hawaii every year around Thanksgiving time, and I’ve made so many memories there. South Florida will always be home, so I have to give some love to the 954.

Any swim destination plans?

Pre-COVID, I was planning to go to Trinidad for Carnival, so that’s top of the list for sure. I was already planning my outfits and everything, so it has to happen. I’m a quarter Trini and have always wanted to visit and connect with that part of myself. I’m definitely feeling Caribbean vibes soon. Between my grandfather who was Trinidadian, my fiancé who is Haitian, my hitting partner who is Barbadian, and my close friends who are Jamaican, I have a long list of places to hit up.

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