“What’s exciting to me is taking my experience of the sport I grew up with, bringing it into the design process and fusing it with ideas from elsewhere. The Tonic brand has its heritage in yoga so combining the best from both of those traditions produces a look that is comfortable, practical and stylish – suitable for top professionals but also appropriate for club players.” — Martina Hingis on MSN Sport UK
There’s a reason to stop and take notice when a top pro, current or former, loves a yoga brand so much that she wants to bring it to tennis. Such is the story with Martina Hingis and Tonic.
Hingis was shopping and came across Tonic apparel. She liked what she saw and chose to wear it for an exhibition match at the 2010 Wimbledon. It was love from first swing. Hingis then sought out the brand to make tennis specific pieces. So just what does she find so appealing about this apparel?
Fit and function – The pieces look absolutely phenomenal on. Part of that is fabric, see below, and the other part is where the seams are (or aren’t), how the straps are constructed, how the fabric drapes and so much more. If you want an expert opinion on how a tennis garment must perform, Hingis, the youngest WTA No. 1 ever, certainly would be a good place to start. She described some of the musts in an interview with the Vancouver Courier. “Around the shoulders and the back, this is where you have to feel comfortable with your stroke. It can’t be restricting. If you’re stretched everywhere, you still have to perform.” (Vancouver Courier, July 29, 2011)
Fabric – Tonic makes its own fabric, dubbed Libra. The Libra fabric is soft, and the weight is not too light, not too heavy. It’s heavy enough to conceal what it needs to and light enough to wear comfortably on the court (enhancing fit and function).
Design aesthetic – There are not wild patterns, but the cuts and strap details are so intricate and so feminine that nothing else is needed.
The result of the collaboration is Tonic Tennis by Martina Hingis. The pieces are sporty and sophisticated. Tonic Tennis sets itself apart in another way. It not only manufactures in North America, but also sources its fabric from a North American mill. Keeping the entire manufacturing process in Canada certainly adds to the price, but the Tonic apparel is worth the extra dollars because the apparel makes you feel good, and we all deserve to feel good about our tennis game and ourselves. And, of course, confidence is priceless.