As Emma Raducanu receives an MBE, People World looks at how she has become a sporting style icon
Emma Raducanu may have received an MBE for services to tennis, but it is her fashion credentials that have led her to become a style icon
It is hard to believe that Emma Raducanu is only 20 years old, but it has to be acknowledged. She has achieved so much already in terms of tennis, which is why she was awarded an MBE yesterday (Tuesday 29 November 2022) by King Charles.
After all, she was the first British woman to win a Grand Slam in 44 years at the US Open. An incredible achievement!
Despite this achievement, Emma recently revealed to Grazia magazine that she didn’t think it was a huge detail. “It wasn’t a big deal for my family - it was just like a normal Friday or Saturday night.”
The 20-year old tennis star was however clearly honoured to have received her MBE and said: “It’s been great to receive my honour today from his Majesty the King- I feel extremely grateful.”
Although Emma has been lauded for her tennis achievements, she has most definitely now become renowned for her sense of style. It was impossible not to notice how chic Emma looked at the investiture ceremony.
Emma, who is a Dior ambassador, was dressed in an all-back Dior mini dress and matching boater. The total outfit is reported to have cost £10,000.
It was almost as if the minute Emma won the US Open, she was whisked away from the world of tennis into the world of fashion. Dame Anna Wintour, well-known tennis fan and Editor of US Vogue, invited Emma to the Met Gala days after she beat fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez.
Dressed in a black and white Chanel outfit, Emma looked perfectly at ease mixing with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. It was like she was made to be a red-carpet star and became a style icon almost overnight.
Emma Raducanu is not the only tennis star who has also become known for their fashion sense of style. Serena and Venus Williams have of course always pushed the boundaries when it comes to their outfits on the tennis court.
When Serena announced her retirement from tennis in an essay published in Vogue’s September 2022 issue, she said that as well as prioritising her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, she would be growing her fashion empire.
After attending the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale from 2000-2003 to study fashion design, Serena launched her own brand, S by Serena. She also teamed up with Nike in 2019 for a first of its kind partnership, the Serena Williams Design Crew. The idea was to select 10 emerging designers from underrepresented backgrounds to help promote inclusivity and diversity in the world of design.
As well as off-court, Serena also has ensured over the years that she has been noticed for her fashion choices on court. I love the fact that way back in 2004, she decided to play tennis in a studded Nike tank top and denim mini skirt. Who said you can’t look fashionable whilst playing tennis? Serena showed the world that it was possible to do both.
Although it is far easier in 2022 to make a fashion statement on the tennis court, there were tennis stars such as Chris Evert who became renowned for looking super chic. On court, she often wore a diamond bracelet on her wrist. The term ‘tennis bracelet’ became a renowned term when her own bracelet broke in the middle of a match, and reportedly stopped play.
Chris also became renowned for her choice of beautiful tennis dresses, including a gorgeous lace number she wore for the US Open in 1971.
Fast forward to 2022, there are plenty of male tennis players as well as female ones who like to make a fashion statement. When Roger Federer announced his retirement, British GQ were quick to laud the tennis superstar as much for his fashion credentials as his sporting achievements. They described his style ‘pristine as his on-court fits.’
On one occasion, Federer teamed technicolour Nike Air Max kicks with a brown suede jacket and polo neck. It looked like it shouldn’t have worked but, with Federer wearing the look, it most certainly did.