(Evan Agostini/AP)
(Evan Agostini/AP)

Is Emma Raducanu set to be the next big fashion star?

She’s going to be just as influential in the style stakes as she will be on the court, says Prudence Wade.

Prudence Wade
Friday 17 September 2021 10:42

It’s shaping up to be a huge September for 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, who just days after winning the US Open was walking the steps of fashion’s biggest night out – the Met Gala.

Raducanu at the Met Gala (Evan Agostini/AP)

Raducanu was in a monochrome look from the Chanel Cruise collection and it wasn’t the first time she has worn Chanel: she donned a black boucle minidress from the brand for the US Open Trophy Ceremony.

After wearing Chanel twice in one week, some are speculating she’s signed a deal to become the new face of the French fashion house.

Wearing Chanel for the US Open trophy ceremony (Elise Amendola/AP)

With her dizzying rise to the top of tennis, it’s no surprise such a major label is keen to dress her. Raducanu is already proving a fashion favourite, making her debut in British Vogue earlier this month.

In the accompanying photoshoot the teenager looks comfortable in Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Valentino – like she’s been doing it all her life.

In the interview, Raducanu spoke about confidence. She said: “I think the confidence comes from just inner belief. My mum comes from a Chinese background, they have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture.”

Raducanu already has one big sponsor in the bag: Nike who she wears on the court. She won the US Open in a chic navy and red number, and often wears brightly coloured sportswear with Eighties-inspired geometric patterns.

Off the court, Raducanu’s style is relaxed and very much Gen Z – we’re talking simple jeans and baggy cardigans, often with a sporty twist. However, you won’t catch her posting many of her outfits on Instagram – during major tournaments she tends to hand her phone over to a member of her team.

Fashion has long had a love affair with tennis, and plenty of big players have forged relationships outside of their sport. Naomi Osaka has modelled for Louis Vuitton (she was one of the co-hosts of this year’s Met Gala, wearing all LV) and designed her own swimwear line for Frankies Bikinis. While Serena Williams has been on the cover of Vogue and has her own fashion line, Maria Sharapova has designed clothes for Nike – just to name a few.

Raducanu is just at the beginning of her tennis career, and there’s no doubt fashion houses will be knocking down her door in the years to come. What happens next is up to the tennis star – maybe she wants to be the face of a big brand, or perhaps she’ll follow in the footsteps of some of her idols and start designing her own clothes. Either way, we’ll all be watching what she does – and wears – both on and off the court.