The Tennis World Is Getting More Men Wearing Italian Style From Uomo Sport
In the 1970s, Steven Siebert developed a passion for the sport’s associated style. The latest in Italian tennis style, to be exact. Years later, when he realised tennis had lost its chic, he set out to revive it by creating a line of apparel that prioritised Italian fabrics, tailored cuts, and the enhancement of tennis’s on-court and off-court elegance.
Uomo Sport, although based in Southern California, has deep roots in Italy. Uomo, pronounced “Woe-moe,” is the Italian word for male. The brand’s Donna Sport line features the Italian word for woman, Donna, and has signed tennis player Donna Vekic as its lead ambassador. “Tennis will always be the centre,” Siebert says. “In my opinion, if you invest in high-quality tennis apparel, you will wear it for all of your daily activities. My work is extremely advanced and technically precise. The intention is to create a wardrobe staple for professional tennis players.”
Uomo Sport is still dedicated to the sport that sparked its creation about five years later. With the signing of Vekic in January 2023 and the leadership of Jenson Brooksby on the men’s side for the previous three years (during the 2021 U.S. Open, the brand received 162 online orders during one hour of his match against Novak Djokovic), the sport’s popularity has only increased, with the Pepperdine men’s tennis team now being outfitted, tournaments sponsored all over the world, players and coaches signed, and a presence at posh resorts and elite
Siebert claims that the goal of making highly tailored fits, eschewing what he calls the boxy style of other brands, gives his clothing a technical and youthful vibe, and that he can attribute this to his target demographic of men in their twenties and thirties. Uomo sources all of its collars, buttons, and fabrics from Italy and uses Italian and American labour to create its finished goods. He insists that great care is being taken with the fabrics and other finer details. “To save money, invest in quality rather than quantity. You can never go wrong with these classic pieces.” The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was the first major success for the brand. Clothing lines, resort and club partnerships, and tournament sponsorships all grew from those initial seedlings.
“We want people to try our entire line of tennis apparel, from polos to Henleys to techno crews to Ts to pullovers to tracksuits to socks to hats to wristbands, says Siebert. Then, we’d like to provide you with additional pieces that are appropriate for public use. We consider all the places a tennis player goes and the different climates they experience. To put things right, we’ve provided you with staples.”
Siebert says he is not concerned with building a large team as professional sponsorships increase because he values individuality. We tailor our approach to each individual player, coach, and team, incorporating their input whenever possible. Siebert has described Vekic as a “perfect fit” for the brand, and their new relationship has stoked her interest in fashion. UomoSport has also signed Danish player August Holmgren and outfitted coaches and other players; Siebert hopes to add a young American female player and possibly an Italian player to the mix to make up a total of three men and three women leading the brand.
Tournaments, such as Uomo Sport’s pursuit of a spot in the Wimbledon Village this summer, are not something the company plans to ignore. Having expanded to become an official sponsor at ATP and WTA tournaments, the brand now seeks to establish itself online as a mini-luxury hub for tennis-themed apparel and accessories. Siebert says, “We want to take people inside the sport. “I hope that the fans have a deeper appreciation for the athletes and the game.”
Siebert believes that classic Italian brands have not progressed since he wore them; he misses his Sergio Tacchini tracksuit. He laments, “The clothing has been depressing for decades.” “I discovered a huge gap in the market; why aren’t they catering to it? It says a lot about the sport that we’ve been able to tackle this difficult puzzle. We need to give these dudes all the coolness.” Siebert claims that his staff meticulously examines every last aspect of a project. The microfiber in the brand’s shorts’ pockets, for instance, can be used to wipe away perspiration from the hand and fingers, and the mesh on the inner thigh can prevent chafing.
The first few months of 2023 are extremely busy for Uomo Sport as they continue to design and produce all the pieces they will introduce throughout the year. So far, we’ve seen a lotus blue and pink pattern for Australia, and in March at Indian Wells, we’ll see a monochromatic desert sand pattern. The Miami tournament will feature a tropical blue Henley, while Roland Garros will feature a lot of navy and clay. At Wimbledon, white and Wimbledon colours will be prominent on pullovers. According to Siebert, the newly introduced women’s line is a “modern update with performance and fit, with a good mix of technical functionality without sacrificing style” and will continue to expand.
Siebert, eager to create a stylish tennis outfit, is busy paying close attention to every last detail. He has one polo ready for production with his Italian collars on hand, and he is awaiting the arrival of yet another Italian fabric. In order for the ball to properly enter the pocket, “there has to be a certain weight of the fabric,” he explains. “To us, life is like a well-fitting suit of clothing, not ill-fitting rags. We put in an enormous amount of effort to rectify those parts.”