This collection may not have been explicitly inspired by tennis, but like everything Johnny Schwartz pours his heart into at Yony, tennis is its own motif: never directly referenced but always somewhere under the surface. The Spring 2024 collection oozes the same classy, charming aesthetic of the 50’s preppy style.

Debuting as his first fashion show, the LA Native chose New York as his first runway, specifically a members-only tennis club in a neighborhood known for preppy-ness in all its forms: the Upper East Side. In his previous collections, Schwartz was known for his take on pieces like color-blocked sets, pinstripe quarter zips, and other timeless Americana staples.

In a combination of sportswear and performancewear pieces, models strut across the court in Summer’s finest: matching striped sets, workman shirts and chinos, bright knits, and other fashion staples you’d come across at a country club some decades ago.

To top it off, mini-matches were held across the courts with players wearing more pieces from the collection as the models walked for a truly immersive experience transporting guests back to simpler times.

For a closer look at his latest collection, VMAN talked with Schwartz about his love for tennis, details on the new pieces, his latest inspirations, and some of his favorite looks from the show.

VMAN: With the collection rooted in your passion and genuine admiration for tennis, how do you think the sport was accurately portrayed/depicted within the collection?

Johnny Schwartz: Often the sport has been portrayed as a lifestyle instead of a technical game. Today, clothing within tennis has dwindled down to techno-fabrics with random prints, and I wanted to YONY-ify the game so to speak – to bring products that can be worn before, during, and after. This season draws inspiration from the game, but the collection remains true to what we ultimately stand for: quality, timeless, vintage-inspired pieces.

VMAN: Piece by piece, did you think about the wearability of the pieces and if they would perform well on an actual tennis athlete? 

JS: Definitely. It is imperative to me that whatever we do, we do it in the most authentic way possible. So for this season, there are a number of items that are built to play in. We worked with an American mill that specializes in performance textiles to source micro poly fabrics that are lightweight and sweat-resistant. We made shorts, shirting, and sweats that both look great, and you can play in. Additionally, to make each piece special, we custom-printed each fabric with a proprietary color or stripe. 

VMAN: Looking at the pieces, they certainly aren’t the typical tennis gear one would associate with the sport—there’s an undeniable flair for style across the motifs and silhouettes. In what ways do you think tennis and style go hand in hand?

JS: Aside from my personal relationship with the game, I am constantly dumbfounded at the disconnection between professional tennis and fashion. The NBA has turned into a nightly fashion show as players enter the arena four hours before the game; however, tennis players can literally walk onto the court seconds before a match in whatever they want, but it feels like no thought is really put into what these athletes are wearing. Tennis has an amazing heritage and so much opportunity and I want to be the one to revolutionize that. One of my main inspiration images this season is a picture of Pancho Gonzales – a professional tennis player from the late 40s and into the 50s – wearing a knitted tennis sweater, smoking a cigarette, holding a wooden tennis racket. When I saw this, I thought to myself, “There is nothing more ‘YONY’ than this.”.

Courtesy of YONY

VMAN: What are some of your personal favorite items from the collection? 

JS: I love the lightweight, 100% cotton (US yarn), knitted sweaters we’ve made. They’re easy to throw on and make every outfit a bit cooler. Also, the new garment-dyed Supima Cotton Pleated Chinos I plan on wearing pretty much every day next summer. 

Courtesy of YONY

VMAN: With some of the designs echoing details that were once present in the ‘50s, what is it about the aesthetic that draws you in so much? How have you seen the YONY consumer interpret this era on their own?

JS: It’s really a personal connection that I’ve had since I was a little kid. My dad used to tell me about playing stickball in Brooklyn or running from store to store to listen to Dodgers games on the radio. It always stuck with me. Then, my dad showed me the movie A Bronx Tale – I thought (and still do) that was the most amazing movie. Aesthetically, style during that era was just cool. I know that seems like a basic response, but the pieces were timeless, people dressed up and clothing wasn’t gimmicky. My challenge from day one has been how to emulate this era of style without making it feel like a direct derivation of that decade. Also, how do we modernize and make it feel personal to my upbringing in California. Now I think our customer is hungrier than ever for pieces that are a departure from streetwear and the casualness of it all. Our customers want sets and special pieces with meticulous attention to detail.

Discover More