When tennis star Coco Gauff took to the court for an exhibition match in Atlanta over the weekend, she laced up a pair of sneakers that placed her in the thin air among her peers. Debuting a bright purple, pink and orange New Balances pair, Gauff unveiled her first signature shoe, the Coco CG1, from the company that signed her at age 14.
“The entire New Balance team, from designers to marketing, really cares about me as a person and not just an athlete,” Gauff said in a statement. “And that relationship has allowed us to create the Coco CG1.”
The shoes will go on sale August 26 for $170 in two colorways dubbed “Pompeii” and “DigiCoco” officially confirmed by New Balance. The Pompey pair features a gradient transition along the collar and draws inspiration from the Pompey Park tennis courts in Gauff’s hometown of Delray Beach, Florida, where her father, Corey, first taught her the game at a young age.
Her father’s mantra – “You can change the world with your racket” – is on the right toe of the shoe. The left finger traces the coordinates of Pompeii Park along the rubber.
Featuring a cross-training-focused mid-height and a mix of materials throughout, the design also features her signature on the tongue and gold-tone collar lace-up eyelet.
“The Coco CG1 is a vintage shoe with a modern twist,” she added, inspired by 90s design. “I’m so excited to get this in stores and see how people style it!”
In the past, tennis icon Serena Williams has released signature collections with Nike and Puma, but Gauff remains the only current tennis player to release actual signature designs.
In basketball, only 10 WNBA players have released their signature shoes, and Seattle Storm forward Brianna Stewart recently debuted them. Puma Stewie 1 during All-Star Weekend in Chicagobecoming the first branded women’s basketball shoe in a decade.
At New Balance, Gauff joins a select roster of fellow endorsers with their own signature shoes, along with track star Sidney McLaughlin and softball standout Sierra Romero.
“I signed with New Balance at such a young age,” Gauff said. “And I am so happy to know that I will continue to work with them for a long time to come.”