Australian Open: The Pink Grand Slam

Deepti Narwani Deepti Narwani

The Australian Open is first and foremost about the tennis, but over the years the court has also served as a fashion runway and this year the runway turned pink.

Sportswear giant, Nike, has donned many of their big male representatives such as Rafael
Nadal and Roger Federer in pink as it attempts to bring back a “confident” 1990s style.

The title defence takes flight ✈️ @rogerfederer #ausopen

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Sam Shipley, Apparel Design Director for NikeCourt, said in a statement on the brand’s website: “We worked closely with the colour team on finding the best shades for the most
impactful read off the incredible blue courts.”

The striking outfits have received mixed reviews but that is exactly what Nike was hoping for.

Shipley said the goal of the pink was to catch the attention of overseas viewers who might
miss the main broadcast and catch up with the tournament through “bite-sized” social
media posts.

“We utilised dynamic geometric shape and flooded colour to grab the viewer’s attention. We
wanted something that vibrates when you see it on screen,” he said.

The pink was also intended to extend to the opponent acting as a sort of power play.

Shipley explained: “We thought, ‘if this design was in all pink, would it still be aggressive?’We’re holding ourselves to that test!”

Similarly, Nike’s female representatives have also been sporting pink but in a lighter shade.

Under the Melbourne ☀️. Love the elegance of this dress.

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Can’t wait to wear my new @australianopen outfit @nikecourt #mostwanted

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15-year-old Marta Kostyuk who has proved the bookies wrong and made it to the third round has been slaying in pink.

However, Nike is by no means the initiator of pink mania. Kirstie Clements, former Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia and Chief Creative Officer of Porte-à-Vie, says pink for both men and women is old news.

Clements believes Nike has built on the Rose Schwartz Pantone colour that was popular in 2017 but added in a bit of an 80s/90s vibe.

Keep calm ??‍♂️❄️??✌? #Round2 #AusOpen

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“Pink is a wonderful colour on men and has a very current, non-gender specific feel to it at the moment,” she said.

“It feels really modern and Nike is right, it looks gorgeous against blue.”

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