Andrea Watley is bringing her A game to Toronto.
After test marketing a select amount of tenniswear near her cottage in Muskoka last summer, the tennis player and fashion designer recently launched AGame, a collection of dresses, skorts, lace camisoles, tank tops, pants and hats for women who play the sport at private clubs across the country.
“AGame is really similar to play your A game, play hard — it means being the best that you can be, so it doesn’t matter what level you play. It means that we’re ambitious people and we belong to the club and take lessons because we want to move up because we enjoy it,” she says. “I think it’s important when you put it all together and you’re in a match you forget about how you look because you have the confidence to hit some winners and that’s really what it’s all about.”
Although the majority of the line is white to adhere to private club standards, which limit colour in outfits to 10 percent, Watley says she added splashes of yellow, pink and blue in the detailing and bright booty shorts to be worn underneath skirts.
While her products are available online through agametennis.com, she is also hosting a launch event at Thornwood Condominium near Yonge and Summerhill on May 8, where she first debuted the line on April 24.
Even though AGame is new, she says she already had experience in the field as the former designer and president of ACE Collections, which featured tennis and golf apparel.
As for the names of her items, she decided to call everything by a name like Miranda, Rachel, Jules, Chloë and Coco instead of solely a style number.
“Names are memorable,” she says. “Names evoke a personality.”
Watley, who will also be expanding and adding a casual clothing line for women to wear, says one of the concepts behind the line was for it to be stylish enough if people wore it off the court.
“The idea is that you could wear it all day if you want to and I find that a lot of women are busy,” she says. “We’ve got parents who are older and need help so we’re still in our tennis outfit at 4 o’clock in the afternoon but we still look polished so that was part of the looking at the lifestyle of the women who buy my products.”
She says she also offers custom team wear and plus sizes for those who don’t fit her sizes.
Coming from a career in advertising and communications, she says she learned early on that rather than focusing on branding, word of mouth is important.
“We want people happy, we want them to look good and I don’t brand anything because I feel like people will notice the style,” she says. “The power of influence of your own personal experience is huge so if someone loves my Sonia ruffle jacket, she’s got 10 best friends. They will want to investigate that and so that’s really important.”
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