This article is part of our Italian Week on Tennis Buzz.

What do tennis stars Chris Evert and Guillermo Vilas, ski icon Marc Girardelli and F1 champion Alain Prost have in common? These sporting legends have all been sponsored by italian sports-lifestyle brand ellesse.

The ellesse name is based on the initials LS of its founder, Leonardo Servadio, an Italian tailor with an innovative approach to styling and manufacture.
In 1959, Servadio created a revolutionary stretch ski pant which established ellesse among the elite alpine social circles, making it the ultimate aspirational brand.

The famous half-ball ellesse logo combines the trips of a pair of skis with a cross section of a tennis ball, to symbolize the brand’s heritage in these sports. The ellesse brand is often cited as one of the first ever brands to feature their company logo on the outside of the clothes, a move copied by brands worldwide ever since.

Evert Ellesse Vilas

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Here is a look at what Maria Sharapova will wear as she steps on the court at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. The dresses are said to be inspired by Paris icon, the Eiffel Tower.

Maria Sharapova 2011 French Open Nike Kit

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Here’s a look at Federer’s French Open outfit.
Roger Federer will wear the Nike Lunar Vapor 8 Tour as he did in Australia though in a white and red colorway, which reads RF on the heel tab. The kicks are set on a Lunarlon sole with a flywire supported upper.

2011 French Open: Federer Nike outfit

2011 French Open: Federer Nike outfit

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This year ellesse is the official apparel partner of the Mutua Madrid Open, that celebrates its 10th year anniversary from 29th April – 8th May.

For the semi finals and finals, trained professional models took over as ball boys and girls, a concept unique to the Madrid tournament. To dress these models ellesse created a capsule Madrid Open range of navy blue staples such as piquet polos and dresses, sweaters and windbreakers. White contrast panels with red and orange piping gave a pop of colour and a subtle nod to the brand’s logo.

The full collection and some photos of the ball boys and models in action:

ellesse ball boys collection

ellesse ball boys collection

ellesse ball boys collection

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Lacoste is the official sponsor of one of the most important sports events around the world since 1971: Roland Garros.
This partnership lasts for 40 years and now leads to a micro-anniversary special collection, which honors the link between the crocodile brand, symbol of elegance, and the only tennis tournament of the Grand Slam played on clay.

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