Same Game, New Goods: Behind-the-Scenes with Wilson Sportswear

President of Sportswear Gordon Devin and Head of Design Joelle Michaeloff explain the inspiration behind Wilson’s new, one-of-a-kind apparel line.


For 106 years, Wilson has been trusted by athletes at every level of play. A brand built by athletes, for athletes, Wilson has created countless game-changing products with an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship.

Historically, Wilson has been best known for creating equipment for athletes to use while actively playing their sport. But that changes now. 

“From here forward, we recognize that you are an athlete 24/7,” said President of Wilson Sportswear Gordon Devin. “That doesn’t just happen when you are on the court, course or field. It’s who you are in life.”

“The world does not need more stuff. The world needs better solutions,” Devin said. “I believe that Wilson was uniquely qualified to take everything we have learned from the sporting field over 100 years and use it to create products for high-performance living.”

Drawing upon more than a century of athlete insights, the design team set out to create a line of sportswear that brings the same high-performance technology of on-court clothing to everyday garments.

The resulting line is clothing created to move with you throughout your day. The garments are optimal for everything from training and competing to running errands, going out with friends and everything in between. Each piece has been designed with expectation-shattering performance in mind.

“What inspires me most about the Sportswear line is that it’s truly what’s missing in the market,” said Sportswear Head of Design Joelle Michaeloff. “We designed a collection that is 100 percent for someone who loves sport, who is an inner athlete. Each piece is in consideration of all the ways athletes live -- what they’re carrying, how they’re getting there, how they’re moving throughout their entire day, not just during play.”

Each garment in the line embodies Wilson’s core ethos of purpose, quality and craftsmanship. 

“Those are the traits that make us great -- that make us the number one sports equipment brand in the world,” says Devin. “We have now translated that into apparel. We’ve reinvented the every day.”

Throughout the Wilson Sportswear line, those traits take the form of thoughtful storage pockets and fabrics that work so uniquely you forget you have them on. There are seams re-engineered to avoid abrasion and special materials that optimize ventilation. The garments incorporate high-performance elements while maintaining a classic aesthetic. This is not just another clothing line. 

Many of the details were inspired by Wilson’s most iconic equipment, like a tennis tee that uses a three-color pattern around the pocket to emulate the Clash racquet. Or the collection dropping in November that incorporates the same leather used in Wilson’s genuine leather footballs. But even more than direct visual elements, the design team drew inspiration from what the products stand for. 

“The Evolution Bike Short and Legging, for example, don’t have the same exact lines as the Evolution basketball,” Michaeloff said. “But the seams represent where to grip the ball, and everything contours the right way to make it the best ball. That’s the inspiration we pulled from hard goods -- not just how it looks but how it performs, how it hugs the body and how it works for you in your everyday life.” 

“I truly believe athletes will be excited about the quality and the thoughtfulness that went into the details,” Michaeloff said. “We’ve considered their whole lives and thought about what they are actually doing to solve for everyday problems -- both on and off the court/field.”

“Performance is non-negotiable. When you have stuff that works, that helps you be your best at what you love, it sets a new bar,” Devin said. “I can promise you that a lot of heart and consideration went into all of it.”


See more from the Starting Lineup collection here and follow @wilson on Instagram for more updates for the inaugural season.

Never miss a drop. Check out the entire sortment of Wilson sportswear apparel here

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