Few sports have influenced style like tennis and few brands have impacted tennis style like ellesse. While many brands have dabbled in the sport’s style and aesthetic recently, few have the historical credibility possessed by ellesse.
Tired of the way sports clothing, in general, lacked any sense of style, Leonardo Servadio founded ellesse in 1959 with the intention of reinvigorating performance-oriented design to be more stylish using his background in tailoring. In the beginning, he set out to design fashion-forward clothing principally for two sports: tennis and ski (now represented in the semi-palla logo).
Designing for sports with different requirements meant Servadio could tackle this task on two fronts, producing totally unique garments for each. Of the two, tennis provided Servadio the most style potential because the technical requirements of the sport’s uniforms aren’t as complex as those of skiers flying down snowy mountains at over 100 mph in minus degree temperatures.