Rowing Blazers — the nostalgia-driven brand known for its subversive take on the classics — has partnered with heritage American tennis brand K-SWISS on a colorful apparel capsule, which also includes a special edition of the K-SWISS Si-18 sneaker.
Featuring former American No.1 men’s tennis player Mardy Fish, the collaboration borrows from Rowing Blazers creative director Jack Carlson’s personal collection of vintage K-SWISS products. “I’ve been wearing K-Swiss since I was a kid, and the Si-18 is an iconic tennis shoe in a way that just a small number of sneakers are truly important in the history of athletic footwear. So, this collaboration is very meaningful for me. I wanted to use a very wearable ‘90s palette, and I was inspired by the tennis gear I collected growing up, going to the Open, and attending tennis camps. Although rowing became my main sport, tennis was always my passion. It’s also incredible to partner with Mardy Fish on the campaign. I grew up watching Mardy play. He’s one of a kind in the sport of tennis: a true American superstar with an incredible comeback story, and he was ahead of his time in speaking about mental health and anxiety in sport. In my own time as an athlete on the U.S. rowing team, I identified with Mardy’s story. So, working with Mardy has made this collaboration even more special,” said Carlson.
“It’s been an honor to work with Jack and Rowing Blazers on this capsule and on the special edition of the Si-18 sneaker. I think it’s been very personal for both of us. And working with Mardy, who of course was a K-Swiss athlete during his playing career, adds another layer of authenticity and meaning to the collaboration. Our motto is to ‘look back, live forward’, and this collection pillars K-Swiss’ ethos,” said Scott Boulton, Global VP of Trend and Energy, K-Swiss.
Introduced in 1966, the K-SWISS Classic was the world’s first all-leather tennis shoe on the market. It quickly gained worldwide acclaim and became a style statement both on and off the court. More than 50 years later, K-Swiss is building from its heritage as an American tennis brand and writing new chapters in its iconic history.
The unisex collection consists of a ‘90s-inspired graphic pullover windbreaker, a white French terry crewneck sweatshirt; nylon shorts in bright pink and white; black and off-white cotton twill caps in a retro silhouette; a black cotton tee; and a special edition of the Si-18 Premier sneaker designed by Carlson and featuring a ‘90s palette and collaborative branding.
The Si-18 Premier sneaker — first introduced in 1989 — combines classic K-SWISS brand elements, such as asymmetric single-density PU midsoles; the famous D-R Cinch lacing system, inspired by vintage ski boots; and the Silicone Formula 18 rubber compound, groundbreaking when the Si-18 first came out, for which the shoe is named – all of which combine to provide unmatched comfort and support in a timeless and unmistakable silhouette.
A portion of sales from each pair of sneakers will go to the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, which provides children, particularly those from underserved communities, with the opportunity to participate in safe and impactful fitness, nutritional, and enrichment programs empowering them to live healthy and productive lives.