Maria Talks Style and Sweets at her Sugarpova
As the current No. 3-ranked tennis player on the planet and a
6'2 knockout, Maria Sharapova would have good reason to let
her whole life revolve around her chosen sport and the endorsements
that have followed. But the 25-year-old, who recently made our
Most Stylish Athletes list, is always in search of a new
challenge-whether on- or off-court. She's got ongoing design
contracts with bothCole Haan and Nike. And yesterday, she launched
her latest project, a candy collection adorably titled Sugarpova.
The line's comprised of 12 different varieties of colorful
sweets-some shaped like tennis balls, others like tiny stilettos
and handbags. And while a candy brand might seem an odd endeavor
for an athlete, it turns out that sugar and sports have long been
linked for this particular superstar. I met up with Maria at
Sugarpova's NYC launch to get the scoop.
Lucky: What's your earliest
candy-related memory, and why'd you decide to create Sugarpova in
the first place?
Maria Sharapova: When I was little, I'd ask my parents for a
lollipop after tennis practice-Chupa Chups were my favorite! And
they were rare in Russia, so you'd have to go to a certain place to
get them-you couldn't find them everywhere. So after a great
practice, I'd always ask my mom for a lollipop. I've always viewed
it like that-if I work out, have a good practice, or achieve
something I wanted to achieve, I treat myself, whether it's with
candy or food, or...I mean, for me it's usually
food or candy! [laughs]
I'm obsessed with the lips logo you chose. How'd you come
up with that?
Well, I've always loved lips-this ring, which I've had for
forever, has little lips on it! I have so much jewelry that has lip
images-and not that I'd wear it all at once, of course, but I've
always thought there was something interesting about that image.
It's playful and fun. I wanted the shapes and the forms of the
candy itself to be really playful, too-there are worms, and
spiders, and these little licorice bits that don't even taste like
And those little tennis ball gumballs are
I know, I love how those came out. I mean, when you mass-produce
something like candy, when there are thousands and thousands of
each item going into bags, it's easy to lose quality. And quality
was something that was really important to me-I blind-tested gummy
bears, went to the factory in Spain for production, everything!
Let's talk fashion for a bit. What's your personal style
like when you're off-court?
My style's literally about living out of a suitcase. Everything
in my suitcase has to work together. I love layering, since I am
always on a plane-and whenever I shop, I look for materials that
won't wrinkle. Like I love silk, but I usually only travel with one
or two silk blouses. Because with every city I go to, I have to
pack and unpack them, and iron them. I love Isabel Marant and the
fabrics she uses. Her sweaters are great. Phillip Lim's pants are
great. And I love Rick Owens' long skirts and pants, too.
You've got ongoing design contracts with both Nike and
Cole Haan. What's your process like in terms of dreaming up new
tennis dresses and accessories?
I'm so inspired by traveling. I love street style, and it's
something I really appreciate it during my travels. I like to
really visualize how girls carry their accessories and carry
themselves. I've played sports since I was a young girl, so I feel
like when I come into a fit meeting, I am knowledgeable about that
kind of thing. Over the years-in gyms and classes, and on tennis
courts-I've seen so many people, and not just professionals, play.
I always study that-are most of them wearing skirts? Do they like
tank tops or long sleeves? I do my research, because that's
important to me-what people actually need and want, and what feels
good. We're not making couture here!
You're a tall girl, to say the least. When it comes to
dressing yourself, how do you overcome the fit issues that go along
with having a 6'2 frame?
Tailoring is the most important thing-for everyone, but
especially for tall girls. I think if you can spend your money on
good tailoring, it can take you really far. But don't get an item
knowing it needs to be altered-just don't buy it! I love
high-waisted pants because they slim and elongate you. Tops are a
problem for me-finding t-shirts that are long enough. So many
times, you wash them and then they shrink! So I usually buy them on
the bigger side. I actually like them to be a little looser-you can
tuck them in in the front, and leave them out in the back, which
looks really good.
And I know you're a big fan of the ballet flat, shoe-wise.
You designed a really good pair for your Cole Haan
Oh, I love them! That was a no-brainer for me. When I started
working with Cole Haan, I brought in so many images of ballerinas
and ballet. And I was like, "I know what they're
doing looks extremely uncomfortable, but I want to have a ballerina
flat that's comfortable." Since I'm always on the go, those can
take me from an important meeting to a more casual dinner. They've
been doing so well!
Would you ever consider launching your own ready-to-wear
collection? One that's not necessarily geared toward
You know, maybe when I have time! I love seeing things start
from an idea and come to life. That's been my favorite thing about
all the collections I've done so far. I'm fascinated by that
process. So yes, I'd love to.
When it comes to your beauty regimen, you have to choose
products that'll work during your workouts, which I'm sure can be
challenging. What do you usually use?
Sunscreen's so important, obviously-I use a
Kiehl's suncreen on my face, and a Kanebo one-it's this Japanese
brand-for my body. As far as makeup, it's a lot of Kanebo-I love
their concealer pen. I use Lancôme mascara, and then this
moisturizer from a brand called Glimpse, which not many people have
Give us a taste of your late-summer playlist.
It totally depends on how I'm feeling. I've been listening to a
lot of Florence + The Machine-so good-and I went
through an Adele phase recently too. U2 always gets me going. I'm a
little all over the map!
Thanks so much, Maria. Will we be seeing you at Fashion
Week? I know you've got a busy month ahead, what with the US
It depends on my schedule-I always do things so last-minute! I'm
always like, "Oh, you have a seat for me? OK, great!"
Get your own Sharapova-approved sugar fix at Henribendel.com, Itsugar.com or Sugarpova.com.