Japanese retailer Uniqlo plans to launch its latest tennis apparel collection at the end of the month, which will be modelled by tennis player and brand ambassador Novak Djokovic.

The range, which includes warm-up jackets and pants, performance wear shirts and shorts along with accessories, will be available at Uniqlo's 5th Avenue Store, the 34th Street Store and the Soho Store in New York City from 27 August.

The collection is expected to expand into other markets at a later date.

Shin Odake, Fast Retailing Group Officer and Uniqlo US CEO, said: "We are very excited about introducing the Novak Djokovic replica tennis line first in the US, and to coincide our launch with the start of the US Open.

"We hope the new line will be popular with our customers and tennis fans alike."

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UNIQLO Launches Latest Line of Tennis Apparel in the U.S.

Modeled After Performance Wear Created for World Top Tennis Player Novak Djokovic

NEW YORKAug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today UNIQLO announces plans to launch its latest line of tennis apparel modeled after performance wear created for Novak Djokovic, world top-ranked male professional tennis player and UNIQLO global brand ambassador. The line will launch in the United States on August 27 and in other markets around the world at a later date, details of which will be announced in due course. In the U.S. the new range will go on sale at the UNIQLO 5th Avenue Store, the 34th Street Store and the Soho Store in New York City.

UNIQLO, the proud sponsor of Mr. Djokovic since May, will launch a total of 10 items for adults, ranging from warm up jackets and pants, to shirts, shorts and accessories. The tennis line will closely resemble the look and feel of the actual performance wear that Mr. Djokovic will wear at the 2012 U.S. Open Tournament that starts at Flushing Meadows, New York, on August 27.

Commenting on today's announcement, Shin Odake, Fast Retailing Group Officer and UNIQLO U.S. Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are very excited about introducing the Novak Djokovic replica tennis line first in the U.S., and to coincide our launch with the start of the U.S. Open. We hope the new line will be popular with our customers and tennis fans alike."

Naoki Takizawa, UNIQLO Creative Director, has been personally involved in designing all tennis apparel for Mr. Djokovic, starting with the 2012 French Open. "My inspiration for the very first designs came from Novak Djokovic himself and his country of origin, Serbia. In fact, it was the national flag of Serbia that actually inspired me when I started to think about the color and the design of his match wear," said Naoki Takizawa. "I was inspired by the shapes of the wings of the eagles that are on the flag, and with this in mind I began to draw lines along the sides of his performance wear. In my mind, the design needed to be simple, so that it didn't interfere with his very precise playing style. At the same time the design needed to look strong."

"Regarding the fabric, I chose the newest product from Toray Industries, who is a close partner of UNIQLO and who specializes in creating innovative fabrics. When designing clothing such as performance wear what is important is that the fabric absorbs perspiration and dries quickly, while ensuring player comfort even in extreme match conditions. At UNIQLO we have a strong desire to help athletes give their best performance," Takizawa added.

"I am very impressed with the UNIQLO design philosophy," said Novak Djokovic. "Over a series of regular face to face meetings, which take place in-between tournaments, we discuss a number of details regarding overall design, types of fabrics and materials, and even colors." He added, "The UNIQLO creative team, led by Takizawa-san, understands the importance of achieving the right balance of these elements so that my performance wear can support my movement on the court and give me an extra boost of confidence when aiming for my points."

Performance Wear Shirts

Available in a zip-up polo design that includes asymmetric color lines down the left and right sides, as well as slightly raised seams on the inside of the garment. Both elements reflect  Mr. Djokovic's personal preferences: the lines help illustrate the movement of his body and the inside seams' brushing against his skin give him increased awareness of his body's movements.

The polo shirt is made with DRY-EX, an exceptionally sweat-absorbent and quick-drying material that UNIQLO developed with partner Toray Industries, which includes ultra-thin meshing under the arms.

 Performance Wear Shorts

Made with DRY-EX material that does not cling to the skin, the shorts are available in a slim-fitting design that Mr. Djokovic found would offer him the best freedom of movement on the court. Tighter than traditional tennis shorts, the hems do not bind up. The pockets are lined with pile fabric enabling one to easily wipe perspiration off their palms and securely hold second serve balls. A special feature of the design of the shorts is the side stripe that, when worn with the matching polo shirt, runs along the full length of the body for a dynamic effect.

 Track Jacket and Pants, perfect for a wide range of sports

Requiring a track jacket and pants to wear between matches and during press conferences,

Mr. Djokovic chose a design that offers both comfort and style.

The track jacket is made from light, dry materials with anti-microbial and deodorizing properties, and it will not cling to the body when sweating. The slim-fitting design means that the jacket is neither baggy nor hindering. And thanks to a 'breakaway zipper,' the jacket can be effortlessly taken off in one swift move.

The track pants are perfect not only for tennis and sport, but also for jogging and walking. Made with the same lightweight dry materials as the jacket, the pants are slim fit and offer exceptional comfort. Their sewn-in waist cord is simple to tie and untie, making the track pants easy to pull on and off.

Warm-Up Jacket and Pants

Ideal for warming up on court or for simply staying warm before a match, the warm-up jacket and pants are made with high density materials that have water-repellent properties.

The mesh lining of the jacket keeps players fresh and comfortable even when they start to perspire. The jacket has stretchy cuffs that make changing easy, and the hood merges with the collar. The piping along the hood lends an elegant touch.

About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing

UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co. (FR), a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under five brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, g.u., Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO. With global sales of 820 billion yen for the 2011 fiscal year ending August 31, 2011, FR is the world's fourth largest apparel retail company and UNIQLO is Japan's leading specialty retailer.

Today UNIQLO has more than 1,100 stores worldwide, namely in the U.S., U.K. FranceRussiaChinaHong KongTaiwanSingaporeMalaysiaThailandthe Philippines and Korea, as well as Japan. UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world's most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. UNIQLO operates an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel in line with its 'Made for All' philosophy.

With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, FR is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and other FR brands, please visit www.uniqlo.com or www.fastretailing.com


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