Page 23 of the new Racquet features a double page spread close-up of Roger Federer’s pink sneaker. It’s typical of the magazine’s clever crossover of sport and culture.
In one sense it’s just a typical tennis shot, uncredited but presumably supplied by a stock agency. The flouro x blue indoor court colour combination is nothing new either. But the image makes the perfect intro to the following piece about Federer’s longterm relationship with Nike and their Vapor X sneakers.
We hear how the tennis star collaborated with Nike’s own superstar Tinker Hatfield to develop the range, with a detailed breakdown of the graphics on the shoe (in this example, the building on the right shoe is Melbourne’s Flinders St Station, a reference to the Australian Open for which the shoe was designed and worn). Written by Tim Newcomb, a regular contributor to big titles like Sports Illustrated and Wired, the piece demonstrates the ambition of Racquet to compete on written as well as visual terms.
The same colour combination appears on the cover of the issue, a beautiful photo illustration by 40 Worth St Studio.