Uomo Sport embraces Italian fashion as tennis presence grows

Steven Siebert embraced his love of tennis fashion in the 1970s. Italian tennis fashion, specifically. Decades later, he felt the sport had lost its style, so he launched a brand dedicated to Italian fabrics, tailored cuts and elevating the elegance of tennis style on and off the court.

Based in Southern California, Uomo Sport has a strong connection to Italy. Uomo (pronounced Woe-moe) is Italian for man. The brand’s Donna Sport line, which aptly signed tennis player Donna Vekic as its main ambassador, offers the Italian word for woman, Donna.

“The core will always be tennis,” says Siebert. “In my humble opinion, if you choose the right tennis wear, you will wear it for everything, your pieces will carry you throughout the day. I make very high level, very technical pieces. Every piece is made for professional tennis and the goal is to make this a basic outfit .”

About five years after the venture, Uomo Sport continues to embrace the sport that inspired its inception. With Vekic signing in January 2023 and Jenson Brooksby leading the men’s side for the past three years—during the 2021 US Open, the brand received 162 online orders during the hour of his match against Novak Djokovic—the game’s acceptance has only grown, now including men’s apparel of the Pepperdine tennis team, sponsoring tournaments around the world, signing contracts with players and coaches, and being present at top resorts and high-level tournaments.

Siebert calls his clothes technical and young — “it’s not an older man’s brand” — and attributes that to the goal of creating tailored cuts, staying away from what he calls the boxy style of other brands. Uomo imports all of its materials from Italy, from collars to buttons to fabrics, making pieces in Italy and the United States. “We’re going further with the details, the fabrics,” he says. “It’s super expensive, but you can buy less if you buy better. These are staple pieces that you just love.”

The brand’s first breakthrough came when it sold out products at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. From there, tournament sponsorships grew, resort and club deals expanded, and clothing lines flourished.

“We want people to experience our full line of everything you need for tennis,” says Siebert, “polos, Henleys, techno crews, Ts, pullovers, sweats, socks, hats, bracelets, all the individual things. Then we want to have other pieces that you can wear out and about. We think about the full life of a tennis player, where you travel, time zones and climates. We want to get that right, so you have essential pieces.”

As professional sponsorships grow, Siebert says he’s not focused on developing a big team because he believes in individual style. “We like to take each player, coach or team and incorporate their personality and what we think they’ll look best in and involve them as much as they want to be involved,” he says. A new relationship with Vekić sparked her interest in fashion, and Siebert called her perfect for the brand.

Along with Vekic and Brooksby, UomoSport has signed Danish player August Holmgren, along with equipping coaches and other players, and Siebert wants to have about three men and three women at the helm of the brand, hoping to add a young American player and perhaps an Italian player to the mix.

Uomo Sport will not lose sight of the importance of the tournament, such as gaining space in Wimbledon Village this summer. The brand has grown into an official sponsor of the ATP and WTA tournaments and is looking to build an online presence for the brand as a mini luxury home for tennis sportswear and lifestyle. “We want to get people into the sport,” says Siebert. “I want people to really understand the players and the sport.”

Since wearing classic Italian brands – Siebert wishes he still had his Sergio Tacchini tracksuit – he believes clothes haven’t evolved. “Clothes have been dreary for decades,” he says. “I saw a huge hole in the market, why aren’t they doing it better? If we can get the parts right, which is challenging, if we can get them right, it says a lot about the sport. We have to make these guys as cool as possible.”

Siebert says his team is studying the details. The brand’s shorts include microfiber in the pocket, for example, to help wipe sweat from hands and fingers, and added mesh on the inner thighs to prevent skin irritation.

Uomo Sport is still busy in early 2023, designing and creating all the pieces it plans to introduce throughout the year. We’re already seeing lotus blue and pink for Australia, and then in March we’ll get a monochrome desert sand design for Indian Wells. Expect something different for Miami with a tropical blue Henley, then plenty of navy and earth for Roland Garros. Come Wimbledon, expect to find jumpers with white and Wimbledon colours. The newly launched women’s line will also continue to grow, described by Siebert as “a modern update with performance and fit, with a good blend of technical functionality without sacrificing style.”

Through it all, Siebert is preoccupied with attention to detail—he has one polo shirt ready for production with its Italian collars on hand while he waits for another Italian fabric to arrive—excited about the fashion-focused fit for tennis. “There has to be a certain weight to the fabric, the way the ball goes in the pocket,” he says. “We see ourselves as very tailored clothes, not bad clothes. We work like hell to get those pieces right.”

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