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SB Behind The Scenes: Meet The Tennis Designer

posted on Thursday, 26th June 2014 | find under Fashion , Nutrition
We're 3 days into Wimbledon 2014, and it's already got exciting for the Brits, with Andy Murray having smashed his way into the 3rd round, and Heather Watson set to play Germany's Angelique Kerber today, after overcoming lock-jaw to win against Croatian player Ajla Tomljanovic in just 65 minutes.

Getting in the Wimbledon mood, we sat down with the Sweaty Betty tennis designer, Lisa, to find out more about the collection, that gives the traditional tennis whites a contemporary style update with neon trims and flattering, feminine shapes. Read on for Lisa's inspirations and her tips on how to wear it...

What is your first consideration when designing a new tennis line?  
This season, I focused on making the tennis collection beautiful and practical at the same time. I wanted each piece to feel pretty and feminine. I want the woman who wears it to feel empowered; safe in the knowledge that she will not have any mishaps with her kit, and that it will allow her to play at her best.

Did you design this line just for tennis? Or is it just as suitable off the court? 
I designed this collection with tennis as the primary focus, but this includes going to and from the court and warming up/cooling down, as well as actually playing. As a result, there are certain items within the range that are fairly specific to tennis, but quite a lot of the styles also look great worn off the court - for going to the shops or meeting friends, or playing other sports.

Who do you look to for tennis design inspiration? 
I don’t really look at any one particular person or tennis player but more a feeling and mood. For this range, I really was taping into the preppy and sporty girl from the Hamptons and giving the traditional British tennis whites a contemporary style overhaul!

Did you do any interesting research before designing this season’s line? 
We have lots of tennis players in the SB office, so I make sure to pick their brains on what they look for in great kit, and to professional players in order to find out what they want from their kit and what they feel is missing from current options. We conduct wearer trials on each new collection too, where we get athletes and fitness professionals to workout in the new products, and I take this feedback very seriously, integrating it into the new designs to make sure they are perfect!
Which is your favourite piece from the SS14 tennis line and why?
That’s a tough one! I don’t think I have one favourite piece, but I love the Baseline Tennis Knit as it is a great crossover piece, adding style on the court but equally perfect for having coffee with the girls. I also love the Match Point Tennis Dress as it is so feminine and fun. As a sportswear designer, I don’t often get to design a dress so I really like to push the boat out when I do, especially for tennis. I am super happy with how this dress turned out as it looks exactly how I had hoped - super flattering and really functional too thanks to the integrated shorts.

Shop the beautiful Sweaty Betty tennis collection, or click here for a little Wimbledon style inspiration.
Sweaty Betty Tennis Clothes
By Jan Wood - 16th January 2015
I live in Portugal and find it difficult to buy any tennis clothes here but luckily my daughter lives near Cambridge and she took me to th S W shop there. I loved the grey and white flounce tennis skorts and have since bought 3 ( as the white one went a bit grey as I wShed it so often - not good water out here!) I have only just seen the Match Point dress, which I have fallen in love with but don't seem to be able to buy one anywhere- please help if you can. I also bought a lovely electric blue short sleeve tee shirt, which looks fab with the white flounce skort. I hope there are going to be more beautiful, feminine tennis clothes soon. Thanks.
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