Twenty-three-year-old Bulgarian sensation Grigor Dimitrov may very well be tennis’s next Andre Agassi—and not just because of his potential to reside amongst the greats, though that’s certainly the buzz at this year’s U.S. Open, especially given the youngster’s induction into the ATP Rankings’ top ten earlier this summer.
Rather, like Agassi before him, Dimitrov is proving to be quite the sartorial scene-stealer (check out Vogue’s September issue for proof). “Who could beat Andre’s denim shorts?” says the six-foot-three-inch athlete with a smile, sequestered away in an anteroom at Niketown, Nike’s retail-cum-experiential complex in midtown Manhattan. He’s in town to help launch the company’s new Court collection, a performance line that, Dimitrov says, brings a little “rebelliousness” back to the hardtop. Vogue.com was lucky enough to snag a few minutes with him, during which we chatted not only about his personal style leanings (by the way, stay tuned for some potentially surprising brand favorites), but also about New York’s unlikely sedative effect, a secret love of a certain fast-food chain, and swapping valuable fashion tips with girlfriend Maria Sharapova.
Tell me a little bit about your on-court style. Do you have a good-luck color, for example?
I would like to say you always make your own luck, especially when you go out on court! I like strong colors, though—red and black, for example. I also like to play around with colors. I believe that if you feel good and if you look good when you’re playing, it can give you the extra edge that you might need. If you look good, it brings confidence. I was ironing my stuff at Wimbledon before every match!
With Nike as your apparel and footwear sponsor, you guys have just unveiled a new line, Court. Tell us what it’s all about.
Well, it’s inspired by previous athletes who were with Nike: Agassi, John McEnroe—it has this rebellious feeling. I think this spirit was just a little bit forgotten of late, but we’re trying to bring it back. Especially so with the younger players out there. That being said, Court matches really well with my personality, which I’m thankful for, as Nike and I talked about the concept from the beginning. They’re extremely supportive of me—the best outfits, the best gear. It’s an honor.
Do you have a go-to, off-court outfit?
For me, I like that, how do you say, bohemian sort of look. Baggy sweaters to really fitted pants—I love Rick Owens’s stuff, for example. I am really into that kind of grungy style. It’s very Los Angeles, but I’ve always liked this aesthetic, since before I moved there.
Do you have a favorite watch or shoe? Tell me about your accessories game. I see that rose-gold Cartier Love bracelet. . . .
Well . . . I am always wearing a bracelet, necklace, and watch. I don’t even care if they don’t match. And it’s hard to pick just one favorite.
Boxers or Briefs?
Briefs! All the way.
Do you share style tips with Maria?
We talk about it. Lying down, one is reading the magazine, one is with the iPad, we say, “What do you think of this or that?” I appreciate her input. I love the way she dresses. (Check out Sharapova in this chic Marc Jacobs dress at last week’s CFDA event in NYC.)
Do you have any tennis style icons?
I would say Andre Agassi. Who could beat those denim shorts? To me, he brought out a trend and owned it. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well . . . he’s extraordinary. Really fun guy. Outside of tennis, I just love Johnny Depp’s style.
Is there anything you’d never wear?
Socks and sandals.
That’s trendy right now!
Hell, no! No, I am not doing that.
OK, enough fashion. Tell us something unexpected. Something that no one knows.
I love In-N-Out Burger. It’s my go-to meal.
In New York, what are you looking forward too outside of Flushing Meadows, now that you’re here?
I love getting out and about in this city. . . .
Favorite restaurant, for example?
Maria picks all of them—she’s really good with that. But for me, I like to go to Central Park. I like shopping, so Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, all those guys are right there. Perfect for me. And in a greater sense, it’s that mystery of walking around, getting lost in the city. I appreciate doing this a lot nowadays, especially with my busy schedule. It’s good to get away from the crowd, in a new crowd.
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