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Babar ‘Makes a Racket’ With Rowing Blazers’ Tennis Collection

Rowing Blazers and FILA have teamed up with kids’ entertainment company Nelvana and The Clifford Ross Company to launch a limited-edition, tennis-inspired capsule collection featuring the beloved children’s literary character, Babar the Elephant.

Rowing Blazers has collaborated with both brands over the last year, and this drop marks the continuation of those partnerships.

Babar originated in the 1930s as a bedtime story told to Laurent de Brunhoff and his brother by their mother, Cecile, and first came to life through the art of Laurent’s father, Jean, a painter, who produced seven books about the character.

When Jean passed away at the young age of 37, Laurent, who studied at the same art academy, built on his father’s work, creating many lively adventures for the elephant family. A remarkable success story with humble beginnings, today Babar continues to reign as the king of children’s literature. The lovable elephant has appeared in more than 75 books in 27 languages, as well as multiple television series, specials, and films.

The Clifford Ross Company has owned the rights to Babar for more than 30 years, after optioning the rights from Laurent de Brunhoff in 1986. CRC has worked directly with Nelvana for all of that time, putting Babar on TV screens around the world.

The 14-piece Rowing Blazers x FILA x Babar collection includes apparel, accessories and footwear, updating iconic FILA silhouettes in a way that remains unexpected yet authentic, while bringing the Babar brand to life through these new designs.

“As we celebrate Babar’s 90th anniversary milestone, we are so excited to partner with Rowing Blazers and FILA on a beautiful tennis-inspired capsule collection,” said Mellany Masterson, Head of Nelvana Enterprises. “Rowing Blazers has become a trusted partner elevating Babar through innovative high-end products, and FILA brings unmatched expertise on high-quality tennis apparel for a collaboration that perfectly captures Babar’s dapper style.”

For this capsule, the character is playfully incorporated into all pieces, swapping his signature green suit for court ready attire. The color palette of white, navy, green, and yellow highlights hues associated with both FILA and Babar. Plus, to commemorate this special collaboration of Babar with Rowing Blazers and FILA, Babar primary toy partner YOTTOY has created an exclusive, limited edition Babar plush, sporting the same tennis ensemble as featured in the collection.

The apparel, offered in size XS-XXL for both men and women, features polo shirts, tracksuits, a crewneck sweatshirt, graphic tees, shorts, and a tennis skirt.

Design elements include the zig-zag pattern synonymous with the Rowing Blazers brand, a variety of custom logos, and Babar cleverly dressed in key styles from the collection. Standout pieces include the zig-zag patterned Polo Shirt and the Warm Up Jacket and Sweatpants.

In keeping with the tennis theme, a classic white tee is embellished with a famous illustration from the book Babar the King by Jean de Brunhoff, with Babar and Celeste playing doubles. All styles feature Rowing Blazers’ signature zig-zig trim and custom Babar Tennis logo. The matching accessories include a tennis bag and two baseball caps.

“When I think about tennis, I think about FILA and the classic polos, shorts, and warm-ups from the sport’s golden age,” said Jack Carlson, Founder & CEO of Rowing Blazers. “Designing and creating a collaboration that brings together these different worlds is a dream come true for Rowing Blazers. Rowing Blazers has always been about celebrating sport, nostalgia, culture, and community.”

To complement the apparel, the capsule includes a special-edition FILA Tennis 88. The crisp white sneaker is decorated with Rowing Blazers, FILA and Babar logo treatments on the tongue and heel. Babar appears on the midsole, tennis racquet in hand, and again on the sock liners which feature the same storybook image as seen on the graphic tee.

“I’ve had a print of Babar and his family playing tennis hanging on my wall for as long as I can remember,” added Carlson. “It’s serene, and it brings together two of my favorite things: Babar and the game of tennis. Babar the Elephant is, perhaps, my favorite character in all of children’s literature. He had style, taste, and great friends and family.”

The collection is available exclusively at beginning on September 9. Select styles will be available on later this Fall.

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