The day Coco Gauff claimed her trophy as the 2023 U.S. Open champion, her Instagram post capturing the win was accompanied by the caption: “concrete jungle where dreams are made of…”
Gauff made her dreams come true on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium with her first Grand Slam win and this new “queen of Queens” is capturing the attention of a nation — and the entire world.
At age 19, Gauff defeated Aryna Sabalenka in three sets, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, making her the youngest American major winner since Serena Williams won her first in 1999.
As a role model, champion, and fashion icon, Gauff’s longstanding partnership with athletics company New Balance (since age 14) is cementing her status as a giant both on and off the court.
Her latest serve? Gauff’s role in the campaign for the New Balance T500 for Aimé Leon Dore (ALD).
New Balance and Aimé Leon Dore have collaborated to bring back the T500 model, a performance tennis shoe originally released in 1982. The newly introduced model is a low-profile court silhouette dressed in a clean white leather upper, lending itself to everyday wear.
And it’s a shoe for the ages.
Kevin Trotman, Product Manager, Global Collaborations & Energy Footwear at New Balance, shares that “New Balance worked hand in hand with Aimé Leon Dore’s design team to remaster the T500.”
The re-release of the 1982 retro tennis bring-back, the T500, initially debuted in a campaign with Gauff, nearly two weeks before her U.S. Open win.
“The collection is amazing because it’s so wearable and stylish,” Gauff shared. “I love that the T500 is rooted in a tennis shoe, but has such a timeless silhouette that can be dressed up or down. I’ve worn them out with friends casually, but also with dresses and more elevated looks.”
In an ALD campaign shot by Bronx native Renell Medrano (whose portfolio includes Kendrick Lamar, Venus and Serena Williams, Bad Bunny, Jay-Z, and Kendall Jenner), Gauff pairs each of the three T500 colorways with apparel from ALD’s fall / winter 2023 collection.
“I love to experiment with different styles and colors that speak to my personality,” Gauff added.
Gauff is no stranger to rocking the court with style: In August, she unveiled a new colorway — green contrasting with warm shades of red and brown — for her signature shoe, the Coco CG1 “City Brights,” at her pop-up at the New Balance Flatiron Store.
And her sneaker game wasn’t the only thing shining bright during her U.S. performance: Gauff’s poise and grit have solidified her as a role model for all ages.
“I hope to inspire the next generation to reach for the stars and dream big, particularly women and girls,” Gauff shares. “I hope they will look in the mirror and think, ‘wow, that could be me.’ And I hope to just keep playing the game that I love for many more years to come.”
She said she’s embracing all the positives and the negatives — and as she said in her post-win speech, “the negative comments add fuel to her fire.”
“I always push myself to be better and do better — any negativity fuels my competitive edge to prove people wrong,” Gauff adds. “It’s also important to have a strong support system in order to deal with negativity and noise. I would never be in this position without my family, my team and my partners. They all help me stay grounded and focused on achieving my goals, and never being afraid to chase big dreams.”
On the topic of her support system, Gauff’s father Corey wore a T-shirt that read “Imagine,” while watching that monumental U.S. Open win: it serves as a powerful reminder to never lose sight of our dreams.
Gauff’s additional advice to the young girls, watching her play:
“I’ve always believed that age is just a number and your dreams are there to be chased, no matter how old you are. This victory means the world to me, and I hope it inspires others to chase their dreams with determination and passion. It can be hard to be resilient when going through tough stretches of play. I’ve just tried to stay focused on my goals and continue working hard, every single point. When victories like these come, it’s even more rewarding.”