Vogue UK: Sharapova’s Style Secrets
By Scarlett Kilcooley-O’Halloran
WINNING Wimbledon at 17, beating reigning champion Serena Williams and becoming the third youngest woman to win the Grand Slam title, put Maria Sharapova firmly on the map, but in the years that have passed it hasn’t just been tennis that has kept her in the headlines, but fashion too.
Her own clothing and accessories label Sugarpova and her 10-year collaboration with Nike – first wearing, now creating – prove her credentials, as does her clearly comprehensive design knowledge.
“I’ve always wanted to stand out from original and regular tenniswear, focusing on details and trying to elevate fashion on the court,” she told us of her Nike designs. “Whether it be a seamless bond, or the proportions, or the way the waist is made – for me it’s always about trying to create an edgy shape, figuring out different formulas in order to create this unique balance.”
Naturally, spending her entire adult life on the tennis court, it’s an aesthetic that has rubbed off.
“I love to create one-of-a-kind pieces that transfer from the tennis court or the gym and can be worn as street style,” she explained. “I think that what people expect from sportswear is more than just an athletic capability. I always gravitate towards pieces that I can wear with leggings and that I can layer in a long top or a hoodie that doesn’t scream tennis – it’s just comfortable sportswear attire.”
But that’s not to say she doesn’t appreciate high-fashion pieces and couture qualities. Isabel Marant and Rick Owens are off-duty favourites, and she calls Alexander McQueen’s creative director, Sarah Burton, a friend.
“I personally got to know her a couple of years ago,” she said. “It was during Wimbledon and I wanted to wear one of her designs so I sent her an email and we got together for dinner. I really enjoy her vision, she’s so down to earth and yet she designs these out-of-the-box, beautifully unique, detailed pieces. I’ve always admired her. She just had this incredible pressure designing for a house that is so recognisable and she’s done a great job.”
Ten years after that famous win, ranked at world number five and back on Court Number One this afternoon, Sharapova clearly hasn’t done a bad job herself.