It used to be the case that the realms of fashion and sport were two opposing circles on a Venn diagram but, now, they're practically one and the same.
Shorts became shorter, singlets looser, and sportswear became an everyday ensemble.
There is, though, one sport above all else that has had a major impact on fashion, so much so that you could argue that it’s had a major say on how we perceive the sportswear industry today. That sport? Tennis.
From FILA and Lacoste, to Björn Borg and as far back as Stan Smith, the sport has been awash with style since day dot.
Whether the all-white looks, the short shorts and or the zip-up bombers, compared to other professional sports, tennis has raised the stylistic bar above all else.
Despite the prevalence of off-court tennis apparel, things were always a little sparse.
“I started playing tennis during the pandemic and fell head-first in love with it,” explains Nikolaj Hansson, founder of Palmes Tennis Society.
“Soon after I was looking around the tennis-wear space and couldn’t really find anything. The only brands I could find were either very much rooted in performance, or were more nostalgia-based.”
Despite his relatively infantile tennis fandom – his previous stint stretched as far as an unenjoyable tennis summer camp as a kid – Hansson founded Copenhagen-based label Palmes in a bid to ideate tennis-fueled dailywear.
“It’s everything and nothing in particular,” Hansson explains on what inspires the brand's products.
“It’s the tangible things of items that are made for aesthetic longevity and can be worn both on and off court; the individuality which each person who steps out onto a court represents and carries with them; the feeling of a newly-opened can of tennis balls.”
Alongside a desire to tell the untold stories from the court, Hansson was also keen to tackle the obstacles he believed stood in the way of people getting into the sport of tennis.
“It felt like there were so many barriers to entry in tennis,” he explained. “Sure, you need a racquet, but in many places you also need to be a member.
“It also felt like you needed to know the etiquette, the unwritten rules, the inherent language of the game and everything, so the idea for Palmes is to show that tennis can, and should be, so much more than that which it is often presented as.”
Now into its second year, Palmes has recently released its Fall/Winter 2022 collection comprising everything from sweatshirts, hoodies, and twill trousers, to the more traditional shorts, socks, and polos.
“This season is very much a continuation of tying in deeply-rooted references of tennis culture into graphics, colors and materials, combining them with hints towards whatever we’re into.
“Whether that’s a painting, an old ad campaign, elements of popular culture, permeating throughout the collection, and hopefully enforcing our idea of Palmes as a global community for people who are into one thing, in whichever way: tennis.”