How tennis star Emma Raducanu stole the heart of the fashion world

There are cool teens, and then there’s Emma Raducanu. The 18-year-old is the new darling of tennis, having won the US Open women’s singles championship this summer. But her work doesn’t stop off the pitch: the champ quickly became a rising fashion star, too, having walked the Met Gala red carpet and attended London Fashion Week parties.

Raducanu declined to comment on his personal style to The Daily Beast, as did his stylist Nicky Yates. She was Chanel’s guest at the Met Gala, wearing a white crop top and logomania skirt. The appearance came just two days after Raducanu became the first British woman to win the US Open since 1968. Say whatever you want on Anna Wintour’s impossible-to-penetrate guest list, but it looks like the Vogue the team worked quickly on this invitation.

“Emma fits perfectly alongside [Chanel] Ambassadors Kristen Stewart, Lily-Rose Depp and Whitney Peak, and wore a gorgeous look from their resort collection that looked sporty but in a high way, ”Janelle Okwodu, Senior Fashion and Culture Editor at Vogue, said The Daily Beast. “She wore one of their beautiful pearl belts, but also had this amazing flowing silk crepe coat with a stunning graphic print. Overall a very unexpected outfit that worked; she was radiant.

Unsurprisingly for a tennis star, white seems to be Raducanu’s color. She wore a sequined Erdem two-piece for a London Fashion Week party hosted by British Vogue and Tiffany and Co. The bottom was a long, pleated skirt, which was a cute nod to tennis skirts.


Raducanu attends intimate dinner and party hosted by Brits Vogue and Tiffany & Co. during London Fashion Week on September 20, 2021, in London, England.

David M. Benett / Getty

“Fashion is as much about relevance as clothing, so it makes sense that fashion has embraced Emma,” Okwodu said. “Even if you don’t know anything about her Grand Slam tournaments, she stands out and her presence is warm. Anyone can wear expensive clothes, that doesn’t mean they can take them away or make them look effortless, and Emma can do both.

Raducanu projected a domestic charm into the interviews, frequently crediting his parents and his upbringing. “From a young age, I was always raised to have mental toughness,” she told ABC News. “My parents played a big role in my education. They were pretty tough on me when I was young and that kind of shaped the way. I think now he helps on the biggest stages in the world when you really need it.

“It’s telling to see Raducanu talk about ‘mental toughness,’ when so many athletes like Osaka, Michael Phelps and Sha’Carri Richardson have openly expressed the impact the public has had on their mental health. The BBC described her as “talkative, friendly and extremely polite” and as a “sponge” ready to soak up knowledge about the world of sport.

“When I was younger it was definitely off if I had a bad attitude,” Raducanu told the BBC. “So from a young age I definitely learned this and it has followed me until now.” It’s a clever quote that serves to dispel any idea that she’s a diva with a racket, and it will definitely attract sponsors looking for someone who is up and willing and willing to work.

Okwodu noted that fashion has had a “long love affair with sports,” and tennis seems to hold a special place in the heart of glitter. It has long been synonymous with wealth, of course, but 2010 superstars like Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka also tried to democratize the game and our take on it. Covered Osaka Vogue Japan in July, and is a new face of Louis Vuitton. She wore a house dress to the Met Gala designed to pay homage to her Japanese heritage.

“We are at a time when athletes are almost supposed to engage in fashion, and designers value their views,” Okwodu added. Just note Serena Williams’ continued dominance of sponsorship deals that go far beyond traditional sportswear. She launched her own clothing line in 2018 and has been a Nike athlete since 2003. This year Williams launched the Serena Williams Design Crew with Nike, a group of emerging designers from under-represented backgrounds selected to apprentice at headquarters. corporate social in Oregon.

Williams and Osaka, who left the French Open this summer to protest the press conferences, are staying true to themselves as they build their fashion “brand”. Okwodu sees Raducanu following in their footsteps.

“As much as she’s becoming a red carpet star, what I appreciate most is that she has retained her self-esteem,” the editor said. “Catwalk fashion can be overwhelming. We’ve all seen instances where clothes can overwhelm a person or seem totally out of touch with who they are. Emma can bring her personality to every look she wears and add some of that young and upbeat energy.

Like Osaka, Raducanu possesses a bit of that calm, introspective grace that many athletes have. She’s not quite gaudy, which makes her a somewhat realistic muse for a generation crushed by COVID, and still trying to figure out the world.


Raducanu hits a forehand in the first set against Canada’s Leylah Fernandez in the women’s final at Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, New York on September 11, 2021.

J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

While doing her lap of honor, Raducanu, admittedly, is still growing. It might be too early for a definitive fashion analysis aside from the fact that she seems to be having a lot of fun with her wardrobe and it shows. She can always pull it up when needed, as she did while playing tennis with Kate Middleton in a preppy polo shirt and athletic shorts on Friday.

When she posted a photo on Instagram alongside her Nike ad in Times Square, wearing a white cardigan and jeans, she looked like any other teenage girl.

A Vogue airing from September showed Raducanu in couture – Valentino, Alexander McQueen – paired with sneakers and ponytails. In fashion lingo, she can nail the ‘high-low mix’. Her athleticism is evident in editorial photoshoots, which often require their models to walk the sets.

Although Raducanu described herself as shy and calm in school, gaining relativity points, she admitted to having strong “self-confidence”.

“I think confidence just comes from an inner belief,” Raducanu said Vogue. “My mother is of Chinese origin, they have great self-confidence. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing in yourself. I really respect that about the culture.

“Emma is definitely one step ahead of the 18-year-old average when it comes to access, but you don’t see her dressing 24/7,” Okwodu said. “She always likes to wear just jeans and a sweater, which is refreshing considering how celebrity fashion can be calculated.”

And as for the speed of its crossover fashion stardom? Okwodu is not surprised: “Well, when you have it, you have it.”

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