spotted in the city: rafa's nike display + maria for cole haan

The window’s his. There would be no US Open title for Rafael Nadal, but he did reign as king of Niketown on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan for most of the Open. We love the picture-framed outfits which you can see better after the jump. Below: Maria’s Cole Haan collection advertises on an 8th Street subway stop downtown.

One more Rafa meets Niketown after the cut.

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serena's all cut up in nike tees

Pass the scissors, please. One thing we loved about Serena Williams at the US Open this year was watching her walk into Interview Room 1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Not because we couldn’t wait to hear what Serena had to say — she’s actually notoriously bland in such situations — but for her hilariously amazing Nike tees turned home craft projects. Serena must have had plenty of late nights staying up with her assistant watching re-runs of her HSN appearances and Keeping up with the Kardashians while slicing through a collection of graphic tees. And by that we mean her assistant did all the cutting. Serena was probably painting her toes, right? Or Oprah’s.

Serena is getting some flak for her on-court apparel these days. But we say hey! What about what the girl is rocking off the court?

While the tees are all around a questionable move, we. Love. That. Hair. On the court, too? Do it, lady.

TSF Vault: Seren’a USO kit | Full USO coverage

More: Serena’s first UNICEF campaign

(screengrabs via USOpen.org)

fashion focus: nike gives roger one sleek and one casual look

With Roger Federer these days, Nike has kept frivolous design to a minimum: gone are the flashy, gimmicky clothing; the blazers, the big bags, the warm-up dress pants — and the minimalist remains are enough to please the eye but not overpower it. Nike’s kept with this new aesthetic in Roger’s kits for the 2011 U.S. Open.

The casual day outfit has a bright red v-neck (with grey detail) while his night attire has a darker grey polo with red lines trimming the collar and appearing as a racing stripe down the back. Of course, there are the same construction elements that we’ve come to see in most of Roger’s shirts — no-sew application, laser-cut button holes, bonded plackets.

Icing on the cake: While all-dark outfits are nothing new, the prevalence of neon at this year’s event endeared us to the third seed’s stealthy ensemble. This outfit reflects Roger’s current state: toned down, flying under the radar, but still elegant where it counts. And with the youthful bursts of white emanating from his socks and shoes, we see a glimpse of Fed in the tail end of his career — letting loose just a little.

Brackets: Fed’s currently playing his quarterfinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The winner will play Djokovic, who won his QF match after Janko Tipsarevic retired with a hamstring injury while trailing in the fourth set. (Draw: Men’s Singles)

More: Plenty of detail shots of his day/night looks and his Lunar Vapor 8 Tour shoes — all after the cut…

reminder: maria's cole haan flats come out today

Fashion’s Night Out: Just a reminder that Maria Sharapova‘s special edition Air Bacara Flats — part of her collection by Cole Haan, will drop today in select stores. These shoes were inspired by Maria’s Nike kits from this year’s U.S. Open.

Folks can snap up the Bacaras for $148 at Cole Haan SoHo and select other Cole Haan stores in New York (Columbus Circle, Flatiron, Madison Avenue, Rockefeller Center), Los Angeles (Century City), San Francisco, Chicago, Coral Cables and colehaan.com.

In addition, ten lucky guests at Cole Haan SoHo’s celebration of Fashion’s Night Out will have the opportunity to purchase a pair of signed special edition Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan Bacara ballet flats.

Bonus: Participating Cole Haan FNO locations, along with colehaan.com, will offer a special promotion for FNO: enter to win a new pair of Cole Haan shoes every month for an entire year! More info here.

FNO LA: For those of you in L.A., check out the evening’s plans here. We’re planting ourselves near Melrose/Robertson to start off the evening!

(image courtesy of Cole Haan)

sharapova's night dress cover-up

Fashion (un)focus: For the curious, the greys and blacks of Maria Sharapova‘s night outfit is complemented by a navy blue cover-up. The same neon green in the straps of her dress trims the placket and the collar of the jacket.

And we’ll say it again: that Sharapova Head racquet bag is the bag that we’ve all been waiting to buy. Partly by virtue of not being obnoxious with visual branding, but mostly because it’s sleek and sexy as an accessory. (We can’t wait for a harder men’s version to come out.)

Battling away: Maria, the third seed, just won the first set in her U.S. Open second round singles match, against Anastasiya Yakimova. The winner of this match faces Flavia Pennetta; they share the same half of the draw as second seed Vera Zvonareva. (Draw: Women’s Singles)

(screengrabs by TSF)

neon matchables

Attention to detail. We had to tell this ball girl yesterday that we just loved her nails. Loved! While lots of the bright colors at this year’s USO are coming from full-fledged kits — particularly adidas — if you look closely, this gal took subtle brightness to another level, using neon yellow on her fingernails to go along with her Polo Ralph Lauren top. We dig it.

Neon-plosion. In fact, it’s actually very hard to tell just how bright a lot of these clothing items actually are. Rafael Nadal’s Nike is blindingly yellow, though both TV and still cameras dumb it down a little. The same goes for the tones of bright reds, pinks and oranges that adidas is experimenting with. Below: David Nalbandian.

As Nick noted in a tweet yesterday, Wilson is doing the same thing, though they are going more of the Nike route (accents) than adidas (full color blocking/in-your-face patterns).

Which do you prefer? Below, a good shot of the adidas kit that Sania Mirza had on today — similar to the bright number that Christina McHale rocked yesterday — both on the new Court 17.

And don’t forget that this all comes back to PRL, too. Their ball persons are in the same fashion game as the players. Anyone noticing a trend?!

(top image by TSF; others by getty images)

inspired by her us open kits, maria redesigns some flats

Sheer beaut: The on-point Maria Sharapova wore Vera Wang to the party celebrating the launch of her Fall 2011 Collection by Cole Haan, held at the company’s SoHo store this past Thursday.

Maria accessorized the sheer white dress, plucked from Wang’s fall runway collection, with some Tiffany jewelry (love that necklace!) and of course a bag and shoes from her CH line.

The event also served as the preview for two special editions of CHMS Air Bacara Ballet Flats; these ones were inspired by the colorways of Maria’s Nike-designed U.S. Open day/night dresses. “The Air Bacara Ballet is one of my favorite Cole Haan styles within my collection,” Sharapova said in a press release. “We wanted to do something fun and special inspired by my love of fashion and sport.”

The day shoe comes in a feather grey/neon pink combo — crafted with perforated leather — while the night ballet pairs black perforated suede with a bold chickadee yellow. Note that signature corset-lace detailing at the heel.

On your mark: The limited edition ABFs ($148) will be available for sale on September 8 at Cole Haan SoHo, and select other Cole Haan stores in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Merrick Park. The rest of the Fall 2011 collection’s already available. (Check out colehaan.com to see the goods. Our fave? The peep-toe monk-strapped ankle boot from the Alexis line.)

Bonus: See how Maria’s Vera Wang dress looked on the runway, plus the rest of the super-chiffoned VW Fall 2011 collection — all at style.com.

Looking forward: TSF’s resident bracketologist Chris has Maria making it all the way to the finals of next week’s U.S. Open before falling to Serena. Do you agree with his prediction?

(event photos by Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com; product images courtesy of Cole Haan)