Tennis is a sport steeped in tradition and change tends to be incremental. When we came up with the idea of creating a new category of lifestyle racket bags, we undertook extensive research into the history of innovation in tennis bags.
While we determined that there was a gap for our tennis bag collection to fill, we were very amused to find some crazy, unique, cool and, well, ugly tennis bags we had never come across before. Here’s a list of bags we bet you’ve never seen or haven’t seen for a loooong time:
1. Did you know that Hermes made a limited edition crocodile skin tennis bag for Lacoste? We didn’t either. While it gets full marks for being stylish, designing for only one racket is a bit of a flaw for regular players. We also aren’t sure about the breathability of croc skin…? That said, like a lot of Hermes bags, if you can stomach the price tag, this could be a savvy investment piece.
2. Louis Vuitton creates some of the most coveted bags on the planet. At some point the brand produced a bespoke tennis bag with what looks to be a detachable racket head cover. We like the compact size of the bag and non-traditional shape, but couldn’t imagine setting it down on clay or squeezing it into a locker! Having the tennis racket on the outside of the bag also ruins the overall aesthetic.
3. We aren’t entirely sure what Head was trying to achieve with the angular shape of this tennis bag. Given rackets don’t have flat edges, this seems like a bizarre use of space. I don’t think we are alone in our sentiment as this bag was launched relatively recently and we’ve never seen anyone carrying one.
4. We will give credit for Prince trying a new ‘shopper’ bag shape. However, the gold and patent black leather quilted screams ‘80s in a less than stylish way. The size of the bag makes us think this was actually meant to be handbag rather than useful for tennis. Maybe Prince was testing this bag for a potential brand pivot?
5. This Wilson Special Edition collection’s use of brown sets it apart from the majority of other tennis bags which makes it refreshing. We can see this bag looking smart when worn against all white tennis apparel but if you happen to be wearing any other color (like neon, which has been virtually unavoidable in recent years) you would stand out for all the wrong reasons...
6. While looking into vintage tennis bags, we spotted this Adidas Stefan Edberg collection. Setting aside the immediate shudder we felt when we saw immaculate white bags sitting on red clay, we quite liked the shape of the bag in the right foreground...
7. Tennis super fans will recall that Andy Murray carried this bag at Wimbledon a couple of years ago. The structured nature of the bag and the pop-out stand are reminiscent of a another country club sport: golf. The stand feature has since been relegated to the links as it doesn’t seem to have caught on for weekend hackers or tour players.
8. In the luxury category, Wilson created an all-leather version of their racket bag. While the materials chosen certainly elevate the quality when compared to the widely used cheap nylon, we would imagine carrying this bag even half-full would exhaust you before you hit the court.
9. Last but not least, we had forgotten how many loud, colorful and flamboyant tennis bags were produced in the 80s. One of our favourites? The ‘Ace Face’ line of Prince bags. Maybe it’s because the print has a mesmerizing effect? Or perhaps because there’s a little bit of gamesmanship baked into the design?
An honorary mention goes to the old school Head Radical bags made for Andre Agassi, which you can snap up on eBay if you’re feeling nostalgic (or headed to a fancy dress party!).
If you’re looking for a bag that’s much more practical, versatile and guaranteed to stand the test of time, take a closer look at the The Epirus Collection (pictured below). They are the first bags that let you go from the court, to work, to the gym and then out to dinner in style. Find out more here.
What’s the most bizarre tennis bag you’ve ever seen? Let us know in the comments below.
We’ve all been there. You need to find a gift for a friend, partner, sibling or parent who loves tennis. But you’ve already bought the tennis-themed cuff links, the necklace with the racket and ball charm and a DVD of the 10 best matches of all time (which are surely collecting dust somewhere now).
To help you find the perfect tennis-related present, here’s a list of fresh ideas organised by price band...