WHO WE ARE
We are a tennis lifestyle brand made by collective of multi-hyphenate creatives and freelancers founded by Nele Jaanimaegi and her husband Henri Jaanimaegi in 2020, launched in 2021.
All our designs go through the lens of “from street to tennis court”. Function wise, our clothes are ready to hit the tennis court, they are moveable and have the sweat wicking properties you need. But no pressure... Aesthetically, our tennis clothes are ready for the streets and are well combinable with any clothing staples, like jeans or blazers, for a cozy night out or for a casual meeting. Why not?
We source high quality fabrics from Portugal and Italy and treat them with natural seed oils (no bad chemicals - not for you nor the planet) that keep your clothes soft and your body dry.
We believe that tennis is for everyone, and it can be part of your everyday lifestyle without putting pressure on yourself to perform the best or look in a certain way just to be accepted by the tennis community. We are firm believers that mental and physical health go hand in hand. Tennis as a hobby is not only a great workout, but its also an amazing way to unwind, connect and stay present. Leave your phone in the bag, put aside the million things you have going on that keep your mind occupied, and just move and be present in the tennis game.
We don’t take ourselves too seriously and love having a good laugh (and often at ourselves). We love playing tennis in our #imperfectlyperfect way... We try, and if we succeed – great. If we don’t succeed, then at least we tried and had a lot of fun along the way.
WHERE THE IDEA FOR THE COMPANY CAME FROM?
Nele: It was a combination of different small events happening and aligning at the same time. On the one side, there was nothing exciting happening in tennis fashion in 2019/ 2020 – just some small collaboration drops here and there, but nothing permanently fresh or thrilling – neither in clothing nor tennis accessories. And for example, my vivid tennis enthusiast brother was really getting anxious to find something that is interesting.
Henri: The selection and choice in tennis apparel was indeed leaving a lot of room for improvement. The sport is highly influenced by a few tennis players, including by what they wear. That is however driven by the sponsorship agreements with big brands, where the ability to “reinvent” the concept of tennis clothes may be limited. If I compare tennis, for example, with basketball culture, then basketball feels years ahead of tennis. The basketball clothes have found their way into streets and have become the fashion symbol, also bringing the sports even closer to the communities. Why can’t we apply similar principles to tennis?
Nele: Then, there was this family holiday in the picturesque Tuscany with its mind-blowing landscape, where we spent a week at the local villa that had the most amazing tennis court surrounded by Italian cypress trees and with wildflowers trying to grow into the court from all sides. I remember having so much fun at the court: the sun was shining, the scenery with its apple trees, olive trees, and even a small private wine yard was completely mesmerizing. Air was fresh and clean, and it was just my husband and myself having the most fun at the tennis court - playing, teasing each other, laughing, and goofing around, while the kids were with the grandparents at the pool. That was THE FEELING – I was present in the moment, moving, feeling happy, in piece and connected with my husband. We didn’t wear the perfect tennis clothes; I definitely didn’t play the perfect tennis. And at the same time, this experience did not go together with the idea of “traditional” tennis clothes – that felt too standard, suppressing to some degree, not really fitting my style, as well as not aligning with the feeling I was having. This is where the idea came to me. What if there was a tennis brand that had a clean product, meaning made from sustainable fabrics, that is good for your and planet’s health, that would also be multifunctional (meaning I could go from the court to the street), and that would combine the cool laid-back aesthetics. And that would promote the positive feelings of playing the game, which is really just about enjoying it without putting the unnecessary pressure on the winning.
Nele: Tennis is a sport that has been stagnant for quite a period of time, with not much exciting and fresh from a consumer’s perspective happening in tennis apparel and accessories space. Some numbers have been showing that tennis was declining in popularity, especially among younger generation.
To my surprise, almost none of the big online stores had any tennis clothes available, while at the same time the yoga pant section was booming. Although, it’s fair to say that tennis started “coming into fashion” in 2021 and some fashion brands were eager to jump on opportunity, however they were still promoting that feeling of wealth and scarcity of the game, and designing exclusively for the game.
I think we live in an era where we don’t consume clothes and accessories the same way anymore. We are multi-hyphenate creatures, we like to do more than one thing. We want to live a fulfilled life, have multiple careers, multiple hobbies, take care of our physical and mental health. So, there is no need to really invest into specific pair of “tennis clothes” only. Furthermore, we don’t want to put additional plastic or chemicals on our bodies that most clothes producers rely on. If you want to go play tennis with your best friend once every 2-3 weeks, you don’t want these clothes to “wait” in your closet for the whole time. You would want something you can wear to the streets or a casual meeting, feel comfortable in, but also, at the same time, something you can sweat and move around in, without compromising on the quality and functionality of the garment.
Henri: Tennis is changing, with the new generation players coming in, and we would also love to change the narrative of tennis and how we perceive it – bringing in the feeling of fun, openness, and community, and less that of an “ivory tower” feel. We live in the times of sharing economy and reinvention of how we see concepts of ownership and exclusivity, and tennis will eventually also move into that direction, whereas the few will have less power to decide how you should look like and what should be the right wat to enjoy tennis.
WHAT’S THE MEANING OF THE NAME?
Nele: I was trying to find the name that made me FEEL in a certain way: I wanted to feel inspired, feel free and happy, feel fresh and embark emotions, feel authentic - something I could feel with my gut.
I realized from the process of finding the name, that it’s not about this one “word” that should make me feel in a certain way, but it’s actually about the FEELING itself. So, let’s concentrate on the FEELING and everyone can recognize that FEELING in their own way, without “labelling” it with one specific name. There is no rationale in it, you just feel it. Love yourself, care for others, move your body, enjoy your journey, be creative, be true to yourself, trust your GUT and FEEL IT.
Henri: Creating the brand is not a dialog, it’s a conversation with people alike, where you are creating a little world, a small community. That is also why we decided to add the “you?” with a question mark at the end. Are we alone here or are there people alike, who believe and share the same values as us...?
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE BRAND?
We are here to change the narrative and break certain dogmas of tennis. 1. you don’t need to be a club member to start to play tennis, 2. you don’t need to invest into specific „tennis clothes”, 3. you don’t need the most expensive racquet to start with 4. you don’t need to be a perfect tennis player to enjoy the game. All we need is a racket, a friend, some balls, and a local court. WE FEEL FREE! Let’s bring the enjoyment, fun, and goofiness into the game!