by John Russel Jones

Arthur Ashe, a new tennis and lifestyle brand, launched last week with a celebration at the opening of its 2 Rivington Street pop-up hosted by Creative Director Jack Carlson and Brand Director Karl-Raphael Blanchard. The collection is available for purchase at the shop (open through September 4th), on the grounds of the US Open in the shadow of the stadium that bears Ashe’s name, and at Prices in the debut collection range from $25-$265.
Arthur Ashe was not only a legendary tennis player — he was the first Black man to win the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and a slate of other history-making titles — but was also a champion for civil rights at home and abroad, an advocate for numerous health-related initiatives, an activist for youth access to sports, a paragon of sportsmanship and etiquette, a style icon, and an American hero.The new tennis and lifestyle brand named in his honor is the result of a partnership between Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and the Arthur Ashe estate; Carlson, who founded cult brand Rowing Blazers and led the revival of two of Princess Diana’s favorite knitwear brands, Warm & Wonderful and Gyles & George; and Kith alum Blanchard.

The Arthur Ashe brand has long-term philanthropic partnerships with the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA (Ashe’s alma mater), which seeks to amplify Ashe’s unwavering commitment to social, political, and health-related causes through education, engagement and empowerment; and with Social Change Fund United, which was created by philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade to support critical and timely issues impacting the Black community. A portion of all the brand’s sales will go to these two organizations.