Three of the 13 styles in Monica Rich Kosann’s new tennis bracelet collection, “The Tennis Bracelet-CE.” From top, a bezel-set diamond tennis bracelet in yellow gold with 0.03-carat emerald (starting at $11,350), a bezel-set style in white gold with a 0.56-carat emerald (starting at $12,485), and the collection’s pinnacle piece, a tennis bracelet featuring fancy-cut diamonds and a 0.28-carat emerald (staring at $31,750). (Photo courtesy of Monica Rich Kosann)
New York—The tennis bracelet is enjoying a massive revival, and Monica Rich Kosann is joining in with what is perhaps the best collaboration possible for the category.
The New York based-brand announced it has teamed with Chris Evert, the sports legend whose lost-and-found moment on the court birthed the “tennis bracelet,” on a collection called “The Tennis Bracelet-CE. Born 1978. Finally Authentic.”
Launched Wednesday, the collection ranges in price from $725 to $36,700 retail and will be sold online as well as in Monica Rich Kosann’s two stores in New York City, at Columbus Circle and Hudson Yards.
As The Adventurine noted in one of its articles on jewelry history, there has been some confusion regarding the genesis of the tennis bracelet over the years.
The real story dates back to an early round of the 1978 U.S. Open in which Evert, then 23, was wearing a diamond line bracelet she had bought for herself.
“When I competed, I wanted to wear something that gave me confidence and empowered me, both as a woman and an athlete. As you can see in photos from that period, I wore it often,” Evert told National Jeweler via email.
“My tennis bracelet added a personal element to my style on the court and served as a daily reminder that I can do and be anything.”
The line bracelet the tennis legend self-purchased flew off during play and the match was halted until she located it. In that moment, the tennis bracelet was born.
Evert has endorsed tennis bracelets before, backing a brand for about a year in the early 1980s, but the relationship wasn’t a collaboration in any sense.
For the Monica Rich Kosann collection, the brand said Evert’s team approached them.
Evert knew and liked Kosann’s jewelry and was looking for an American designer to help her realize her longtime dream of collaborating on a line of tennis bracelets.
Evert “worked with us every step of the way throughout the design and branding process. She shared with us the things she remembered about that day: the green court, the white lines, and the dripping beads of sweat,” the company said. (At that time, the USTA National Tennis Center’s courts were green, unlike today’s signature blue courts.)
Kosann, who is known for her subtle, elegant, and updated takes on classics like the locket, incorporated nods to those elements into the design of 13 tennis bracelets.
See 5 of the Styles in the “The Tennis Bracelet-CE” Collection
Emerald and tsavorite represent the green court, while pear-shaped diamond and sapphire drops represent the beads of sweat.
And the design of the bracelet itself—a line of white, natural diamonds or sapphires—mimics the fresh lines on the tennis court on that day in 1978.
Kosann’s daughter, Danielle Kosann, the company’s artistic director, conceptualized and shot the marketing campaign for the collection, which centers on ‘70s and ‘80s tennis fashions—think a lot of white—and even includes rackets and sneakers Evert wore during her career.
“As a brand known for reinventing iconic jewelry ideas such as lockets, charms, and poesy rings, we are excited to partner with Chrissie to share our design perspective on the tennis bracelet,” Kosann said.
“While there have been many fine jewelry tennis bracelets offered for decades, we are proud to be a part of the Tennis Bracelet – CE, that is ‘Finally Authentic.’”
The Tennis Bracelet-CE collection has two tiers.
There are five sterling silver bracelets with white sapphires or rock crystals ranging in price from $725 to $2,715, and eight 18-karat yellow or white gold bracelets set with diamonds. The gold and diamond versions range in price from $5,915 to $36,700.
Each bracelet has a “CE” marking along with the “MRK” stamp and a certificate of authenticity. The most luxe style in the collection—a bracelet set with more than 4 carats of round-, baguette-, trillion-, oval-, princess- and pear-cut diamonds—comes with a letter about the collection personally signed by Evert and Kosann.