Steven Siebert embraced a love of tennis fashion in the 1970s. Italian tennis fashion, to be specific. Decades later, he felt the sport had lost its style, so he launched a brand dedicated to Italian fabrics, tailored fits and the elevation of the on-court and off-court elegance of tennis style.
Based in Southern California, Uomo Sport has a strong tie to Italy. Uomo (pronounced Woe-moe) is Italian for man. The brand's Donna Sport line, which fittingly signed tennis player Donna Vekic as its lead ambassador, offers the Italian word for woman, Donna.
"The nucleus is always going to be tennis," Siebert says. "In my humble opinion, if you get tennis clothing right, you will wear it around for everything, your pieces will take you throughout your day. I'm making very high level, very technical pieces. Every piece is made for professional tennis and the goal is this is staple clothing."
About five years into the endeavor, Uomo Sport continues to embrace the sport that inspired its start. With Vekic signing in January 2023 and Jenson Brooksby leading the men's side for the past three years—during the 2021 U.S. Open, the brand took in 162 online orders during one hour of his match against Novak Djokovic—the embracing of the game has only grown, now including outfitting the Pepperdine men's tennis team, sponsoring tournaments across the world, signing players and coaches and having a presence in high-end resorts and high-level tournaments.
Siebert calls his clothing technical and young—"it is not an older man's brand"—and he credits that to the goal of creating highly tailored fits, staying away from what he calls the boxy style of other brands. Uomo imports all its materials from Italy, from collars to buttons to fabrics, crafting pieces in both Italy and the United States. "We are going the distance with the details, the fabrics," he says. "It is super expensive, but you can buy less if you buy better. These are staple pieces you just love."
The brand's first breakthrough came when it sold out of product at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. From there, sponsorships of tournaments grew, agreements with resorts and clubs expanded and the lines of clothing blossomed.
"We want people to experience our full line of everything you need for tennis," Siebert says, "the polos, the Henleys, the techno crews, the Ts, the pullovers, tracksuits, socks, hats, wristbands, every single thing. Then we want to have other pieces you can wear out and about. We think about the full life of a tennis player, where you travel, the time zones and climates. We want to make it right, so you have staple pieces."
As professional sponsorships grow, Siebert says he's not focused on growing a large team as he believes in individual style. "We like to take each player or coach or team and fit their personality and what we think they will look best in and involve them as much as they want to be involved," he says. The new relationship with Vekic has fed her fashion-forward interest, with Siebert calling her a perfect fit for the brand.
Along with Vekic and Brooksby, UomoSport has signed Danish player August Holmgren, along with outfitting coaches and other plays, and Siebert wants to have about three men and three women leading the brand, hoping to add a young American female player and possibly an Italian player to the mix.
Uomo Sport won't lose sight of the importance of tournaments, such as getting space in the Wimbledon Village this summer. The brand has grown into an official sponsor at ATP and WTA tournaments and wants to build an online presence for the brand as a mini luxury home for tennis sportswear and lifestyle. "We want to take people inside the sport," Siebert says. "I want people to really understand the players and the sport."
Since his time wearing classic Italian brands—Siebert wishes he still had his Sergio Tacchini tracksuit—he believes the clothing has not evolved. "The clothing has been dismal for decades now," he says. "I saw a tremendous hole in the market, why are they not doing it better? If we can get the pieces right, which is challenging, if we can get them right it speaks volumes to the sport. We have got to make these guys as cool as possible."
Siebert says his team pours over the details. The brand's shorts include a microfiber in the pocket, for example, that helps wipe sweat from the hand and fingers, and they've added in a mesh on the inner thigh to help the skin not get irritated.
Uomo Sport remains busy in early 2023, designing and creating all the pieces it plans to introduce throughout the year. Already we're seeing a lotus blue and pink for Australia and then we'll get a monochromatic desert sand design for Indian Wells in March. Expect something different for Miami with a tropical blue Henley and then plenty of navy and clay for Roland Garros. Come Wimbledon, expect to find pullovers with white and in Wimbledon colors. The newly launched women's line will also continue to grow, described by Siebert as a "modern update with performance and fit, with a good mix of technical functionality without sacrificing style."
Throughout it all, Siebert is busy doting over the details—he has one polo ready to manufacture with his Italian collars on hand while he waits for another Italian fabric to arrive—excited about a fashion-focused fit for tennis. "There has to be a certain weight of the fabric, the way the ball goes in the pocket," he says. "We see ourselves as very much tailored clothing, not ill-fitting. We work like Hell to make those pieces right."