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26 Aug

Arthur Ashe Collection to Launch in Runup to U.S. Open

Jack Carlson is one busy guy.

Not only is he the cofounder and inventive director of the buzzy brand Rowing Blazers, but he’s also creative director of Warm & Wonderful, Gyles & George and Arc En Ciel by LeSportSac. And now, Carlson has turned his sights to the tennis market as creative director of the Arthur Ashe brand.

Carlson has teamed with Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and the Arthur Ashe estate, together with Kith alum Karl-Raphael Blanchard, on a latest tennis and lifestyle brand named after the legendary athlete. Ashe was the primary Black man to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, and was also a champion for civil rights at home and abroad. He also was a mode setter.

“You’ve got Fred Perry, a British tennis lifestyle brand named after Fred Perry. And Lacoste, a French brand dedicated to the legacy of René Lacoste. But there hasn’t been an American equivalent. Who higher to represent america than Arthur Ashe,” Carlson said. “Arthur Ashe has been a hero of mine for a very long time. His icy cool demeanor, effortless style, scholarly approach to sport, his will to win and determination to arise for social justice all resonate with me deeply. The chance to work to create this brand has been a dream come true.”

Later in his playing profession, Ashe had his own apparel brand, but after he retired, that was discontinued as he focused more on health initiatives, Carlson said.

Blanchard said the brand is meant to “commemorate certainly one of our Black heroes who encapsulated style and beauty on and off the court.” He was known for his clean-cut aesthetic in his early years that morphed into more-flashy styles within the ’70s.

The brand features performance and lifestyle product.

The Arthur Ashe collection will include athletic apparel and leisurewear for men and girls, including tennis polos, shorts, skirts, sweats, T-shirts, knitwear and accessories — all intended to rejoice Ashe’s style. It features a reproduction of the U.S. Davis Cup team warmup suit he wore in the course of the award ceremony at Wimbledon in 1975. Prices will range from $25 to $265 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA (Ashe’s alma mater), and Social Change Fund United, a nonprofit organization created by NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade to support issues impacting the Black community.

The road will launch online at each the Arthur Ashe and Rowing Blazers sites in addition to at two pop-up shops at 2 Rivington Street in Recent York City and on the grounds of the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y.

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