It looks as though the color pink has officially become the unofficial shade of the 2018 Australian Open. And while we’ve seen millennial pink sweep its soft, dusty-rose, salmon-y shade across literally everything (sneakers, hoodies, suitcases and so on) off the courts, the tennis pros and their sponsored brand Nike are more inclined to tread on a more saturated hue: Day-Glo pink.
Of course, for some, wearing hot-pink sneakers isn’t new at all. For Roger Federer of Switzerland, it’s become something of a footwear trademark of his — he even has his own official pink (or in technical color terms, “lava glow”) pair by Nike (the style Nike Air Zoom Vapor X in Lava Glow is available for $140 at Nike.com). Rafael Nadal of Spain, too, has captivated audience members with his blur of pink soles for years.
But now the highlighter hue has pervaded the courts in such a way that has us paying attention. There’s Federer in his usual hot-pink kicks. Jared Donaldson of the United States brought his to the next level by styling it with a matching fluorescent set. Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina went for pops of pink through his sneakers and headband, while Nick Kyrgios of Australia offset the out-there color with black. And finally, we have Nadal, who eschewed the allover pink in favor of a subtler approach — a gray sneaker with a pink sole — but made up for it with his shorts, headband and wristbands.
As it turns out, the prevalence of pink was a deliberate decision on Nike‘s part. “The challenge of designing for a quick impression is creating a simple but instantly recognizable and bold design,” Sam Shipley, apparel design director for NikeCourt, said on the brand’s site, mentioning that the color evokes the rock ‘n’ roll attitude of ’90s tennis stars. “We utilized dynamic geometric shape and flooded color to grab the viewer’s attention. We worked closely with the color team on finding the best shades for the most impactful read off the incredible blue courts. We wanted something that vibrates when you see it on screen.”
Clearly, it worked. Scroll through to see everyone’s pink-streaked tennis looks from the 2018 Australian Open.