by John Russel Jones

Tennis equipment brand Prince Global Sports has partnered with premium athletic wear company Reigning Champ on the Prince vs. Reigning Champ collection. Sharing a celebrated history of material innovation and excellence, the collection references Prince’s early influence on the pro tour when its celebrated racquet came into common use by grand slam champions throughout the mid-1980s and ’90s.

Inspired by Prince’s iconic typeface and nostalgic color palette, the 10-piece capsule includes premium apparel and accessories produced by Reigning Champ, with limited-edition hard goods — including the revered Original Graphite 107 Racquet — developed by Prince. All styles are unisex and can be worn for all occasions, and retail for from $17 to $200.  The Prince vs Reigning Champ capsule collection is available online, in-store, and through select retailers worldwide.

Reigning Champ, based in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, has been in business since 2007. Womenswear retailer Aritzia purchased a major stake in the brand last year. Prince, originally founded in Princeton, New Jersey in 1970, is currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, and is part of Authentic Brands Group.

The collaboration features a campaign built on Prince’s New Jersey origins, while celebrating the public tennis courts of Washington Market Park in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The images feature Vicente Muñoz and James Powers, former D1 collegiate athletes, as they take to the court in select styles from the collection, captured under the bright lights of a quintessential New York City backdrop.

Still connected to the sport in many ways, Muñoz is an artist and designer living in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in Ecuador, played competitively as a nationally ranked Junior, and went on to play at Penn State University. he is currently a member of the Board of Fort Greene Tennis Association.

Powers, a watchmaker by trade, grew up in Texas and went on to play at Cal Poly Tech University before taking a hiatus from the sport to focus on a degree in architecture. After moving to Brooklyn, he picked up tennis again and spends most of his free time on the courts of Fort Greene Park.