brand focus: down the line sportswear

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TSF recently caught wind of a tennis fashion line named DTL Down the Line Sportwear (not to be confused with the Down the Line! blog). It was founded by Carla Hilbig, a former nationally ranked junior who has turned her buying experience into a tennis apparel line that’s “affordable, high fashion, high quality, and high performance.” Folks can even host their own Tupperware-style Courtside Party, which cuts down on the company’s overhead and helps spread word about their line.

Our take: To be honest, we were ready to write off DTL apparel at first glance (at least from looks; we’ll do a gear test later), but a closer look at their catalog led to a few jewels. I’m especially in love with the Scoop Neck Racerback Tank ($37.95), the simple Collared Fit Top ($35.95), and the ruffled Sarong Wrap Skort ($39.95) — you know about our love for ruffles.

Edit: DTL has given readers of Tennis Served Fresh a special discount; enter “AUC08″ at checkout and you’ll get 20% off until February 29, 2008. That’s the whole month of February. With an extra day, even. Go crazy.

Over e-mail, we talked to Carla about how she started the company, her tennis background, and — if she had a chance — which top pro she’d ask to endorse her line. See the Q & A after the cut…