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Blurring the line between sportswear and fashion.
Built to perform, designed to look good: with this motto in mind, Italian tailor Leonardo Servadio founded ellesse, a sportswear company that has since become an icon. After revolutionizing the sportwear industry in the ’60s and ’70s and becoming an instant classic, ellesse needed no revival; but with the resurgence of ’80s fashion trends, the ellesse brand has once again risen to the forefront of European fashion and made its way across the pond to the United States. The fun and flirty designs combined with a deep heritage give the brand a timeless appeal that’s not limited to any given decade or trend.
Follow The Passion
Founded in 1959, ellesse began with one man’s desire for better skiwear. With nothing but a vision and some cloth, Leonardo Servadio set out to work creating his products. For Servadio, sport was about style, expression, and fun. He created his sportswear to reflect these tenets. Every piece needed to be functional and fashionable or else it didn’t make the cut. The first breakthrough was the iconic Jet Pant, a ski pant that combined fashion statements like bold colors and a slim fit with functional features like padded knees and over-the-boot pantlegs.
From the slopes to the court.
Riding their success on the slopes, ellesse decided to expand into the tennis scene. The court served as a perfect venue for ellesse because the players needed clothes that could withstand the physical demand of the game while still upholding the sport’s rigorous fashion standards. Ellesse’s popularity in the game can be measured by the list of pros who took the court in ellesse clothing: Boris Becker, Chris Evert, and Guillermo Vilas were just a few of the athletes to compete in ellesse apparel.
An Icon Is Born
Ellesse’s roots in tennis and skiing gave rise to its famous logo, the semi-palla (Italian for half-ball). The logo combines the silhouette of a tennis ball with the tips of skis in vibrant orange and red. Ellesse began putting their new logo proudly on the outside of its products. Though this may seem ordinary, ellesse is often credited as one of the first companies to do so, starting a trend that persists today.
Now, ellesse makes everything from flip flops to joggers to track jackets for a sporty-chic look from head to toe.