Metro-retro sporty styles

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Puma, one of South Africa's favourite sports brands, has launched French 77.

It is a dazzling sports lifestyle collection inspired by the product worn by tennis player Guillermo Vilas.

He was the first South American male player to win a grand slam: the 1977 French Open and US Open titles, and the 1978 and 1979 Australian Open titles .

The collection pays tribute to the pleasure-seeking lifestyle of 1977.

As a tribute to the era Puma staged a spectacular fashion show at the Walter Sisulu Hall in Randburg.

The year 1977 was when The King - Elvis Presley- died, Star Wars opened in theatres, Pele played the soccer final game of his career and disco was at its height.

Saturday Night Fever was a box-office hit and New York's legendary Studio 54 opened its doors for the first time.

In tennis, 1977 is the year that Latin flavour broke the trend of American, Australian and Swedish dominance.

Vilas became the number one player in the world in an epic season during which he won 17 of 33 tournaments.

He was just as accomplished off the court and was renowned for his individualism, spontaneity and his glamorous and hedonistic lifestyle.

Puma spokesman Brett Bellinger said as a tribute to the era, Puma decided to celebrate with a fashion production and party.

French 77 is currently doing a collection for Puma involving Lydia Hearst, Theodora Richards, and Elizabeth Jagger.

The new collection is centred on the theme of tennis and will be available during May, with Wimbledon around the corner in June.

The range is filled with colourful halter bikinis, tracksuits and tennis skirts.

Set against the lush Mediterranean landscape of Monte Carlo, the sporty label has reintroduced three of the decade's icons: Vilas, cinematic legend Udo Kier and motorcycle champion Giacomo Agostini, as ambassadors for the vintage-inspired collection, that is a seamless blend of sport and luxury. French 77 will hit the stores in April.

In Mzansi, one of the famous faces that wears the brand with pride is Kabelo Ngakane of Channel O.