As part of the breakthrough deal, the Ukrainian-born tennis pro will work in tandem with the brand to design and advise on future sportswear collections.
For decades, Wilson has been the obvious choice when a ball is needed for a pick-up basketball game or glove to snare a perfect fastball. Over the last several years, the sporting goods company has expanded its offerings to include technical apparel and footwear, merging classic silhouettes for a contemporary audience. As the 110-year-old brands look to implant a permanent stake in fashion, it has tapped a rising star in tennis to help spread the word.
On Thursday, Wilson announced a partnership with Marta Kostyuk, making the 20-year-old the first complete ambassador to compete, wear and play with nothing but Wilson products from head to toe.
“I’ve been playing with Wilson rackets since I was a little girl, so to be the first player to play and wear Wilson is pretty special to me,” Kostyuk told Boardroom via Zoom. “With this partnership, I feel like we can create a lot of great stuff and I feel more free with the things I want to do. Wilson has a great team, so I’m pretty sure we’ll have a successful union together.”
Ahead of this year’s Australian Open, Kostyuk competed with the Blade v8 racket, a custom ensemble, and the Rush Pro 4.0 tennis shoes for the Adelaide International Tennis Tournament, making the quarterfinals in the competition. A self-described fashion enthusiast, Kostyuk opened up about how she’s leveraging her personal style to help reimagine apparel fit for actual tennis players and others who just want to look the part.
“I like to be and look very feminine. Even if I wear something comfortable or oversized, I still like to look feminine, so dresses are my favorite to wear on the court. When you’re playing, there are a lot of things that need to be in place. I think I’m bold with the clothes I wear and because I’m mostly dressed in sporty attire, I try to stand out and be unique.”
And though tennis is her profession, Marta Kostyuk is never far removed from another passion: activism. Born in Ukraine, she constantly uses her platform to advocate for the well-being of her fellow citizens while also praising those fighting for independence up against invading forces from Russia.
“I’m pretty sure it’s very visible how brave Ukrainian people are and how we’ve rallied around a common goal. Obviously, this is something incredibly inspiring personally for me. There are times, let’s stay in a match, where you come out in court and it’s not your day, the opponent is playing very well, or you’re definitely not the favorite of the match. Just by giving it your all, there’s always a chance, of a turnaround and you just have to keep fighting. The Ukrainian people are giving it their all, and I’m so proud of them.
The partnership launches in conjunction with Wilson’s latest tennis sportswear drop, which is available to shop at wilson.com. As a member of Wilson’s Advisory Staff, the company says Kostyuk will “offer valuable insights and test Wilson’s performance tennis products, as well as work with Wilson’s sportswear design team on inspiration and direction for the future.”
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