Tennis champ Chris Evert designs jewelry collection – WWD


Tennis great Chris Evert, known in her day for her aggressiveness and style on the court, has teamed up with Monica Rich Kosann on a line of tennis bracelets.

Evert is the origin story of the tennis bracelet. During the 1978 US Open, her diamond bracelet flew off her wrist in the middle of the match, causing the referee to stop the match so she could retrieve the precious accessory. This year, the jewelers continue a bit of this glitz in their marketing plans and celebrate the 35th anniversary of the tennis bracelet.

Evert, for his part, decided it was time to get in on the tennis bracelet narrative. “Since then, everyone has gone out with a tennis bracelet and I thought, ‘I’ve never been able to own the story of my own voice and the story of her birth,'” he said. -she said about the tipping point towards the team. with Kosann.

While the public has long thought Evert’s diamond bracelet was a gift from her boyfriend and tennis star Jimmy Connors, she remembers the opposite. When asked how it felt to have a memory of an ex-boyfriend in fashion history, Evert replied, “Who told you it was from an ex-boyfriend? ? I think I probably bought it myself. I don’t remember very well – you are asking me to remember something that happened 40 years ago.

Evert and Kosann set out to design tennis bracelets as an ode to how the perception of female athletes has changed since Evert’s professional tennis days.

“A lot of [people then] I didn’t know how to take women who wanted to sweat and drop and have big muscles, but now it’s respected. Every father wants his daughter to become an athlete now or to be strong. And it is equal – [men and women] play for equal prizes and draw equal crowds. It has become a wonderful sport,” Evert said.

All 13 designs in the collection include details that hint at this progress, such as dangling pear-shaped diamonds meant to evoke pearls of sweat. They range from around $725 for a white sapphire and a sterling silver bracelet to $37,000 for a chain of fancy cut diamonds with a single tennis court green emerald, all available from Monica Rich Kosann’s website.

Evert’s next big move is this month’s US Open, where she will once again serve as Senior Women’s Games Commentator for ESPN. She admitted that the pressure will be high as people expect these to be the last games of Serena Williams’ career. Last week, Williams appeared on the cover of Vogue’s September issue – apparently revealing her retirement from professional tennis.

Evert is preparing for an onslaught of curiosity and attention from fans and spectators. “She was the greatest player of this generation,” Evert said, though many of her commentator peers consistently call Williams the greatest player of all time.

“It’s going to be crazy,” Evert continued of the upcoming Open. “Every fan will want a ticket to watch Serena, thinking this is her last game. She’s not vintage Serena, she’s 40 and starting to lose to players she used to beat. I don’t don’t know how long she’ll last in the tournament, so it’s going to be a crazy first week of people trying to get their last glimpse.

When asked to compare the circumstances of Williams’ retirement to his own, Evert said: “Everyone retires for a different reason. Sometimes your body gives in, sometimes you are mentally exhausted. I retired because I was mentally exhausted. When people talk about Serena and Roger [Federer] and ask, ‘When are they going to retire?’ Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea. It’s about what’s in your gut, how you feel. You just have to milk it for as long as you can, because once it’s over, it’s over and it’s over – you’re not going to be in this world anymore and you’ll have to create yourself a different life. Serena is heading towards a life of family and business – there are plenty of wonderful opportunities on the road for her.

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