From Adidas Superstars to Chanel Espadrilles, Zendaya Rocks Tennis-Core and Luxury Fashion in ‘Challengers’

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Zendaya’s latest film is officially in theaters and tennis-core fashion is front and center. In “Challengers,” directed by Luca Guadagnino, Zendaya plays Tashi, a former tennis prodigy turned coach. In the steamy sport-romance, Tashi coaches her husband, Art Donaldson (played by Mike Faist), and to overcome a losing streak he needs to face his ex-best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend, Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor).

CHALLENGERS, from left: Josh O'Connor, Mike Faist, 2024. © MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection
Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist in “Challengers.”

Throughout the film, which jumps from high school to college and life as an adult in the late 2000s, Zendaya can be seen in athletic gear for the majority. While most of the looks took on a norm-core vibe with the obvious tennis gear worn by the characters, “Challengers” costume department was helmed by one of fashion’s most-feted designers Jonathan Anderson.

The Loewe creative director said on Instagram, “My initial starting point within clothing is ultimately about building a character; you have to kind of get into this mindset of this living person… With Tashi, we have become obsessed with this idea of success. This idea of power. This is idea of the trainer. This idea of the woman ultimately.”

CHALLENGERS, from left: Josh O'Connor, Zendaya, 2023. © MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection
Josh O’Connor and Zendaya in “Challengers.”

In the movie, when Zendaya’s character is at her most powerful, she can be seen in a pair of Chanel espadrilles on multiple occasions, in addition to more designer looks, including a pristine Stella McCartney long-sleeve shirtdress as she sits courtside.

When Tashi is in her college years, however, she dresses in almost-exclusively Adidas as she’s sponsored by the brand and poised to be the next major tennis star. In one scene, Zendaya can be seen in a slim-fitting tennis dress paired with Adidas white court shoes. She also wears a pair of Adidas shell-toed Superstars with one the film’s most memorable pieces: the “I Told Ya” tee.

CHALLENGERS, from left: Mike Faist, Zendaya, 2024. ph: Niko Tavernise /© MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection
Mike Faist and Zendaya in “Challengers.”

The gray t-shirt is also spotted on Patrick throughout the film and is based on a design worn by John F. Kennedy Jr. in the 1990s. Anderson said Patrick was specifically inspired by JFK Jr. The character could also be seen wearing Nike and Jordan sneakers.

As for Art, Anderson said his ensembles were all about perfection and the “total look.” He was almost exclusively wearing crisp white and perfectly tailored Uniqlo tennis outfits. And for the film’s final tennis scene, he is wearing On sneakers.

“Challengers” is in theaters now.

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Launch Gallery: Every Time Zendaya Wore Her White 'So Kate' Louboutins on 'Challengers' Press Tour

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