The evolution of free folks from style labels to sponsoring a significant tennis match winner in Sofia Kenin was natural each step of the best way.
The 7-year-old Free Folks Motion, the athletic-wear arm of the Free Folks style label, started specializing in tennis in 2021 as participation from the game elevated. At that time the model started a dialog with Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, a fan of the model who had been sporting Free Folks for years.
“We’re nonetheless a rising model, so partnering with somebody at that degree, accessing a top-ranked participant permits us to take the model so much additional and check the product another way whereas driving credibility. alternative to take action,” says Jack Reynolds, chief advertising and marketing officer of Free Folks. “We’ve a heritage and wealthy historical past in style and the FP Motion is concentrated on the merging of style and performance.”
Whether or not making on-court appears like a tennis-specific product obtainable at Kenin, retail or athletic is nice for quite a lot of actions, Reynolds says the aim is to face out with out sacrificing efficiency. “We predict we are able to do that with our historical past,” he says. “It comes again to emphasizing private fashion and standing out and nonetheless having enjoyable performing.”
The sponsorship with Kenin, now again from an damage that has stored him from touring till 2022, goals to lift consciousness of the FP motion to followers of the game and legitimize the model with its on-court product Is. “Seeing the place the pattern was going within the sport of racquets, we knew we wished to satisfy it there,” Reynolds says. “Actually, we need to attain and meet a brand new viewers the place there’s a rising pattern and achieve followers of the sport, benefiting from Sofia’s fame for that.”
Kenin’s absence from the tour in 2022 delayed Free Folks’s entry on the worldwide tennis scene, however it helped the model give attention to the connection with its ambassador. “I feel, actually, one of many main silver linings of[his injury]was our entry,” Reynolds says. She visited the Free Folks places of work in Philadelphia and the model used stops on the native grass courtroom for advertising and marketing supplies. She has participated in a number of photograph shoots and helped open shops within the Miami space, the place she lives and is a vital location for the model.
Now that Kenin is again on tour, she’s sporting her FP motion gear on the courtroom, with each observe appears and competitors apparel. Reynolds says they’re working intently with him and are excited to see him compete. Count on to see her within the merchandise she has began sporting in the course of the US Open.
Whereas the FP motion has made a foray into tennis, it is not going to steer the whole model in that route. “The model has versatility, and we need to guarantee that we’re not only a professional athlete model,” says Reynolds. “A key pillar of what we do is that we’re as beginner to professional right here.”
With that focus—and health, wellness, happiness mantra—the tennis product is a mixture of normal athletic put on and tennis-specific items. Kenin’s favourite items embrace the Pleats and Thank You Skort, the Drop Shot Scortie, and the Happiness Run Sweetheart Tank. Different common items embrace Get Your Flirt On Shorts, Good Karma Tennis Quick, See You on the Court docket Skirts, Verify Out My Topspin Skirts and The Good Karma Costume.
“For us, the last word final aim is happiness and ensuring individuals are having fun with themselves and searching good, feeling assured,” says Reynolds. “As we develop extra merchandise within the years to come back, it is going to be extra play with coloration blocking, prints and patterns, with out sacrificing efficiency to merge with the technical, whether or not for a weekend tennis match or one thing extra skilled. ”
The model believes that the aim of well being and happiness can come from simply getting the health factor of the product proper. “It is stuff that is not simply fluff,” Reynolds says. “It is style perform. It’s going to work completely with you.”
Kenin’s involvement within the FP motion ought to increase the model’s attain in tennis-specific performances. The model plans to develop extra sweat-wicking elements and use Kenin’s insights to make sure that merchandise not solely stand out, however stand as much as the skilled degree that followers consider after they consider a purchase order. may also help you achieve confidence.
“We’re actually enthusiastic about the place that is going,” Reynolds says. “We’ve great momentum.”