Built in the Queen Anne style for Sir Arthur Crosfield (known as “the soap magnate”) between 1913 and 1920, Witanhurst House became London’s second largest private residence after Buckingham Palace. Married to Domini Elliadi – a fine tennis player, and Wimbledon competitor, Arthur was soon made a baronet, and Domini became Lady Crosfield. Four idyllic tennis courts were built in the grounds, and for decades immediately after the Wimbledon fortnight, they hosted charity tennis tournaments. Attended by tennis stars: Bunny Austin, Lea Percoli, Maria Bueno, Christine Truman, amongst others, and the haute monde friends of the Crosfield’s including Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), the lawn parties were the highlight of the London social calendar. It matched Wimbledon for British sporting elegance, and if you add Downton Abbey, the House of Windsor and Cary Grant – it's this ilk of classic British style, that inspired Ralph Lauren. On this topic, his son David once said: "We've always been inspired by Europe and England, by the world of Wimbledon, by the style and the elegance and the sportsmanship.”
Polo Ralph Lauren Unveils New Uniforms for Wimbledon 2022
Appointed the Official Outfitter of The Championships, Wimbledon in partnership with The All England Lawn Tennis Club in 2006, Ralph Lauren got to show his appreciation for British tradition – at one of the very homes it stemmed from. Back then Polo Ralph Lauren became the first external company in 129 years to outfit the tournament's on-court officials. That year, the umpires, ball girls and ball boys wore Polo Ralph Lauren shorts, skirts, pants and blazers in navy blue with Wimbledon's logo, thus replacing the green polyester grass-blending attire that officials wore in previous years.
Over the years, Ralph Lauren’s uniforms have provided a synergy between the ball boys and girls, umpires and linesmen, marking them out as a team of their own and providing a strong sense of identity on the courts. The responsibility and honour of being a ball person is something that has been bestowed on young people (with an average age of 15) since the 1920s, and the fact that a uniform can create both a feeling of camaraderie and equality is undeniably part of the charm. The training and execution of their roles within Wimbledon encourages discipline, commitment and pride – much like the event itself for the players.
Combining the heritage of the brand with modern fabrications and silhouettes, this year marks Polo Ralph Lauren’s 17th anniversary as the Official Outfitter of Wimbledon.
Celebrating the centenary of Centre Court in its current location on Church Road, the new Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon uniforms are inspired by the elevated sense of style that spectators bring to event. With a belted back sportscoat, lined with a commemorative Ralph Lauren designed signature Wimbledon print, and a wide Bengal stripe shirt that includes recycled material and stylish white trouser or white skirt with pearl button closure, the umpire uniform features iconic variations of timeless Ralph Lauren style.
Ball boys and girls wear the legendary Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt reimagined in a navy blue and white wide stripe that includes recycled material which incorporates features such as stretch, moisture-wicking properties and UV protection – all constructed for performance. Line umpire uniforms are refreshed with navy cardigans featuring a white and Wimbledon green striped cuff detail which includes recycled COOLMAX® fibers, providing superior comfort in warm environments with extreme moisture management properties.
Gus Henderson, Commercial Director at Wimbledon, said: “This is a special year for the All England Club as we mark the centenary of Centre Court on Church Road. To coincide with this milestone, we are delighted that all our on-court officials, ball boys and girls will be wearing newly designed uniforms produced by our partner, Polo Ralph Lauren. Given our organization’s commitment to be Environment Positive by 2030, it is fantastic to see Polo Ralph Lauren is prioritizing environmental sustainability in the production of the on-court uniforms for Wimbledon.”
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