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Fashion vs. Function: Game, Set, Match


The apocalypse may be upon us as we have witnessed many strange phenomenons this year that could have only been predicted by the Mayans themselves.

We’ve seen an innocent Miley Cryrus turn into a long-tongued beast that would make even the Christmas Krampus boil with envy. We also saw the American Government shutdown faster than Blockbuster did when Torrents came to be.

But nothing could have prepared us for the surprise attack made on the sports world by none other than the street wear clothing brands.

Yes, its true as earlier last year, Novak Djokovic cut ties with his Italian designer sportswear sponsor, Sergio Tacchini, due to the small brand not being able to handle his on-going success.

Now standing bewildered and naked (figuratively speaking), who did this epic tennis player finally find comfort in?

If you yelled Adidas, Nike or Reebok at your computer screen, you are both incorrect and insane.

He instead got on board with Japanese retailer Uniqlo; the maker of colourful and affordable basics for the average, skinny, hip urbanite. And what an impact they have made together!

First off, Uniqlo made a statement in the sport arena by straying away from the traditional tennis apparel and went for the all black look – breaking away from the usual module we’re used to seeing on the courts. Also, complementing it with a mint blue getup, they mention it ‘symbolises the cool agility of Novak’s movements on the court’.

The cool new colours and designs hand-in-hand with Uniqlo’s famous ‘Dry Ex – sweat absorption’ technology has now really made an impression on both the fashion world as well as the sports, shaking the big sportswear brands who claim to only clothe champions. A clear and blatant message that implies – “we’re coming after you”.

Fashion being fashion, this has started a trend as a few months on, high street giant H&M signed up with the Czech-born tennis star Tomas Berdych to launch their first ever collection of tenniswear.

Although currently ranked 6th in the world, they mention he’s known for two things; being one of the best looking young hunks in the tennis world and reaching the Wimbledon final in 2012, having defeated defending champion Roger Federer in 2012.

By challenging Nike and Adidas at their own game and encroaching on what was once believed their territory, these fashion brands teach us the true meaning of identity by not allowing your industry, consumer perception or anything else for that matter to define you who you are as a brand. It’s about breaking out of your module, pushing the boundaries when opportunity presents itself and doing things that have never been done before.

Like any true fashionista would.

How is your brand staying ahead of the curve?

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