Named after the late American tennis elite, Arthur Ashe is the sportstyle apparel and accessories brand recently seen on everyone’s favourite funny man, Will Ferrel. On top of being the first black man to win the US Open and Wimbledon, Ashe he was a dedicated activist, funding the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health and raising awareness of HIV and AIDs. His impact and fight for civil rights were granted when he posthumously earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton in 1993.
Founders Jack Carlson and Kith Alum Karl-Raphael Blanchard expressed the reason why they chose to tribute Arthur Ashe and use his legacy as a figurehead for the brand: “You have Fred Perry, a British tennis lifestyle brand named after Fred Perry. And Lacoste, a French brand dedicated to the legacy of René Lacoste. But there hasn’t been an American equivalent. Who better to represent the United States than Arthur Ashe?” Carlson explains. “This brand is here to commemorate one of our Black heroes who encapsulated style and grace on and off the court.”
But the label’s mission is not simply to exist within the fashion world. Its main objective is to posthumously continue the work of Ashe’s commitment to social and political activism, and it is achieving it by collaborating with “The Social Change Fund” – a philanthropic organisation supporting issues impacting the Black community – and the “Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA (Ashe’s alma mater)”. A portion of all the brand’s sales will go to these two organisations.
Arthur Ashe’s garments include leisurewear designs for men and women, featuring 70s prints, sweatbands, polos, and tennis rackets. The most iconic piece of the collection is a replica of the U.S. Davis Cup team tracksuit top Ashe wore during the 1975 Wimbledon prize-giving.
Browse the collection below…