Be It Tennis or Sneakers, Coco Gauff Is the Main Character

She’s electrifying the 2023 US Open, dominating headlines, and the bold young face of American tennis’ bright future. She’s Coco Gauff and she’s, as the kids say, “killing it,” both on and off-court.

Gauff is currently in the running to win the 2023 US Open, having made it all the way to the finals where she’ll take on Aryna Sabalenka. She’s been deservingly called a “phenom” and olayed an important role in shifting perceptions around the game that she’s since made her own.

“Players shouldn’t have to adjust to tennis,” Gauff recently told Highsnobiety. “Tennis should be adjusting to us.”

Before the US Open even began, it was deemed Gauff’s by default, based on a combo of her unquestionable star power and young, devoted fanbase.

Gauff is deftly talented on the court but she also has clear qualities beyond it, especially if you pay attention to the world of sportswear.

New Balance, Gauff’s clothing and footwear sponsor, cannily angled the 19-year-old tennis star as a multifaceted pitchwoman prior to the US Open.

Gauff was New Balance’s face of the US Open; she was in attendance for the Coco’s Court pop-up; her visage graced Times Square (again).

But, even more importantly, Coco Gauff suddenly became the face of New Balance’s hottest collaborative sneakers.

In mid-August, an illustrated Gauff appeared in the campaign for GANNI’s latest New Balance shoe. Weeks later, she was modeling Aimé Leon Dore’s next NB sneaker, the T500 court shoe.

These are big advertorial gets for anyone, let alone a 19-year-old. But Coco Gauff is in the early days of what’s shaping up to be a historic career.

Note that Gauff’s co-sign is likely necessary to move collaborative shoes of this scale: though searches for Ganni’s New Balance spiked by over 1000 percent in August, that was probably down to Ganni’s obsessive fans trying to get their hands on the shoes.

ALD, meanwhile, is similarly capable of selling anything. Like, it could make a co-branded cereal box fly off the shelves, with or without a celebrity tie-in.

But Coco Gauff’s presence in these recent campaigns is simply indicative of her latent star power. She’s not just a generational talent: she’s also cool enough to organically show up for some of New Balance’s buzziest collaborators and that’s saying something.

I mean, how many other tennis stars would make sense for both Ganni and ALD campaigns?

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