These days it seems the boundary between the court and the street is more porous than ever — when it comes to style, at least. From players in immaculate crisp white sporting classic Diadora sneakers, to on-court officials covered in head-to-toe Ralph Lauren, and general Lacoste-mania, tennis enjoys an enduring symbiotic relationship with fashion. The sport’s elegant and preppy style is now seen on city streets the world over, reported with tailoring for a modern-yet-playful look, as seen with emerging brands such as Palmes and Sporty & Rich, and on stars such as Tyler the Creator. When it comes to footwear, however, few brands come near to the sport’s on-court darling Diadora. From Björn Borg to Boris Becker, the brand has worked with some of the sport’s biggest stars — now it’s launching a new edition of its B.560 sneaker, just in time to save you from that oh-so-cruel post-ATP Finals depression .
In a world full to the brim with sporting controversy, from the pitch to the paddock and beyond, tennis has emerged as a bastion of (relative) sanity. Perhaps it’s because high-stakes contests on Wii Sports have instilled proper sporting values and decorum into all of us since childhood, or merely because of the example set by popular figureheads such as Serena Williams and Roger Federer. Whatever the reason, tennis is a fascinating world of where sporting adrenaline meets elegance and manners — and a large part of its appeal lies in its wardrobe. For Diadora, contributions to tennis’ style have included some of the sport’s most recognizable footwear pieces.
The Italian brand was founded in 1948 by entrepreneur Marcello Danieli in Caerano di San Marco, a small town in the northern Veneto region. Throughout the years, it produced footwear and apparel for various sports, and while it has contributed significantly to the world of football, the tennis court is where the brand feels most at home.
The new sneaker is a reinterpretation of the B.560 style, introduced earlier this year. Made entirely in Italy, the shoe is designed to emulate the classic ’90s on-court style, and comes with a newly-engineered sole, and a striking cap which includes a nod to basketball in its side containment lines. Diadora Heritage’s signature stonewash and wax finishes, meanwhile, can be found in the upper in white full grain leather, and the perforation on the toecap. The vector logo on the side now appears in striking black, in strong contrast to the shoe’s crisp, tennis-white leather. Finally, the design of the rubber sole and the printed EVA midsole take inspiration from the brand’s late-’90s Duratech 650 model.
The new shoe naturally comes fully loaded with the brand’s impressive tennis heritage. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, Swedish superstar Björn Borg partnered with the brand on multiple campaigns, wearing classic Diadora models as he stormed to victory at the French Open and Wimbledon, winning the later championship a record five consecutive times, between 1976 and 1980. After the highly successful Borg era, Diadora found a fan in Boris Becker. The German player’s impressive career would see him win six Grand Slam singles titles, including three wins at Wimbledon — the first of which he achieved at only 17 years old, making him the tournament’s youngest-ever male winner. His partnership with the brand spawned the classic 1991 Boris Becker shoe, the design of which served as the main inspiration for the new B.560.
These days, Diadora continues to build partnerships with stars of the tennis world, both established and emerging. Most notably, the brand has teamed up with German player and three-time ATP doubles winner Jan-Lennard Struff, as well as with 23-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, currently ranked 27th in the World on the ATP Singles leaderboard. Who knows, then — in 30 years, the brand may be releasing a limited-edition Struff or Fokina shoe to celebrate their illustrious (future) careers. In the meantime, you can enjoy a slice of ’90s, Becker-style tennis court nostalgia with the new B.560 sneaker — and in case you’re looking for some styling inspiration, we teamed up with up-and-coming talents Gia Seo other akin to offer you a glimpse of the near-boundless fashion opportunities that await.
Discover and shop the B.560 and other Diadora models in stores and on-line now.