While playing in the Atlanta Open over the weekend, viewers saw the 18-year-old tennis star’s 90s-inspired sneaker, the Coco CG1, for the first time.
As New Balance continued to feature tennis phenom Coco Gauff in its key marketing campaigns over the last two years, little did we know that the two sides were also working hard on her very own signature shoe.
Over the weekend, we finally got a glimpse of the Coco CG1.
“I signed with New Balance at such a young age and I am so excited to know that I will continue to work with them for a long time into the future,” said Gauff, who was 14 when first signing on with the company, in a statement.
Designed with a clean slate approach from the ground up over a series of Zoom meetings and design insight sessions, the early direction for her debut signature model was set.
“The Coco CG1 is a vintage looking shoe with a modern twist,” Gauff said. “I am so excited to get this in stores and see how people style it!”
Inspired by the vivid neon hues seen throughout the early 90s era of tennis and cross-training footwear, Coco’s first silhouette takes on a mid-cut height, as per her specific request. The first colorway is dubbed “Pompey,” a tribute to the tennis courts at Pompey Park in Delray Beach, where she grew up playing the sport with her dad-slash-coach Corey.
Priced at $170 and set to launch on Aug. 26, New Balance already has a webstore landing page for further details and upcoming release updates.
Gauff joins track and field star Sydney McLaughlin and softball standout Sierra Romero as the three headlining New Balance female endorsers with a signature shoe.
“We’re thrilled to introduce Coco’s signature shoe and are so passionate about what it represents for her and her fans around the world,” said Evan Zeder, New Balance Head of Tennis Sports Marketing. “Coco is an athlete whose success is continuously defined by the past, but Coco is very clear on creating her own path to success and we are so glad to have her as a part of the New Balance family!”
To give her sneaker a true signature feel, Gauff penned her autograph for a team of New Balance designers to incorporate onto the tongue and collar eyelet of each shoe.
Throughout the multi-layered look of the CG1, Gauff also emphasizes her family.
The lace aglets on her personal pairs feature the names of her brothers, while the heel features icons representing basketball and track and field spikes, a nod to the sports her parents Corey and Candi played in college.
A charging quote from her father, “You can change the world with your racket,” can be found inscribed along the right toe. On the left toe, the precise coordinates of Pompey Park are etched into the rubber lip of the shoe.
“The entire team at New Balance, from design to marketing, truly cares about me as a person and not just an athlete,” Gauff said. “And that relationship allowed us to create the Coco CG1.”
From a tech standpoint, the sneaker packs in several New Balance statement technologies throughout. There’s a FuelCell midsole for responsive cushioning that works in tandem with the company’s Energy Arc technology, a carbon fiber plate system with a two-pronged wedge that extends into the forefoot for added spring and support.
The partially transclucent outsole rubber design has also been executed in recent New Balance Basketball models like the first Two Wxy and Kawhi Leonard’s signature model, while the FitWeave upper material through the toe provides zonal stretch and targeted support.
As she continues to dimensionalize herself off the court, taking on social justice efforts in recent years and using her platform to inspire a future generation of girls in sports, the 18 year-old currently ranked 11 in the world has already grown into the star athlete and sporting icon that the brand envisioned when first landing her four years ago.
“Coco has always been focused on her play, but also being true to herself and her drive for success goes far beyond the tennis court,” Zeder said.