Interview: Yesim Philip And Hannah Griswold Talk Inspiration Behind Their Fashion Forward Tennis Line, L'Etoile Sport

by Dena Silver · July 24, 2012

A buzz has been created around L'Etoile Sport, a collection of luxury tennis apparel, which feels right at home in the Hamptons. Yesim Philip and Hannah Griswold, the ladies behind the latest sporty yet luxurious clothing line, seem to know a thing or two about what women are looking for in athletic wear. A collection of super white pieces, with hints of poppy, the color of the summer, include details such as zippers and ruffles that really make the pieces pop. In a fabric that is soft to the touch, but perfect for a few hours in the sun, the success of this new brand can easily be seen, and touched.

While currently only designing tennis gear, the combination of the luxurious fabric and flattering cuts will make you want to pick up the sport, if only for these cute outfits. Hannah and Yesim are both well dressed and cite fashion as an inspiration in their lives, as well as for their new tennis wear collection.

[Hannah Griswold, Yesim Philip via]

This past week the ladies hosted a private trunk show, where I was able to get a sneak peek of their first collection, before they nearly sold out of all the pieces! Yesim and Hannah, who will be featured in August's Vanity Fair, invited me into Yesim's beautiful home to give me the details behind the L'Etoile Sport line.

Where the the idea for L'Etoile Sport come from?

Yesim Philip: We both really love fashion, and we enjoy good style and good fabrics. We didn't want to be showing up on the court in any old workout clothes. We wanted to have the same feelings about our clothes on the court as we do off the court.

Hannah Griswold: We also found that the clothes available out there were far too athletic. After seeing old photographs of tennis players, we noticed a sense of elegance, and wanted to reintroduce that glamour to the tennis courts. In the 1920's women wore fur coats during their tennis warm ups, only to reveal a chiffon outfit underneath. And while we didn't want to recreate that decadence, we did want to recreate the luxury behind that idea, because tennis is a glamorous sport.

[Lace Trim Short, Side Zip Skort]

Where did the inspiration for the line come from?

YM: [Azzedine] Alaïa was a huge influence for us. But we also got inspiration from vintage pieces and old photographs.

HG: We really got inspiration from everything, including evening gowns and day dresses we've seen. Details also played a huge role in the line, we paid close attention to the little things like zippers and ruffles and saw how they could really change a piece.

What is each of your personal styles and how did that affect the L'Etoile Sport line?

HG: Well we both really love Alaïa, but Yesim has a way more edgy look than I do.

YM: And Hannah has more of an Uptown conservative look. And I guess together, our styles combined are the outcome of the L'Etoile Sport look.

And what is both of your background in sports?

YM: I used to be a professional basketball player in Turkey.

HG: And I was a ballerina until the age of 17.

YM: But we both play tennis now, I play about 10 hours a week.

So where in the Hamptons do you play tennis?

YM: At a friends court.

HG: I usually go to the Meadow Club.

In that case, where is the best spot for an after-tennis drink?

YM: The Beacon in Sag Harbor! It's a great spot for a glass of wine and a good view.

Although it's a bit early, seeing as this is your first season of the line, could you see yourselves branching out into other sportswear?

YM: We're launching a golf line in the fall.

HG: And a children's tennis line.

YM: And we've been thinking about doing an 'Off The Court' line. Like clothes you can wear all the time!

[Sleeveless Dress With Full Skirt, L'Etoile Sport Feature in Vanity Fair]

When you're in the Hamptons, where are your favorite places to eat?

YM: I love Sen in Sag Harbor. Followed by a waffle cone from Big Olaf.

HG: Suki Zuki is my spot for sushi.

And on a nice day, when you're not playing tennis, what beaches can you be found at?

HG: I love going to Little Plains.

YM: I prefer the little beach at the end of Ocean Road, since it's so close to my home.

The L'Etoile Sport collection can be found at Tennis East, The Meadow Club as well as on their website, but the option for a private L'Etoile trunk show is also available. Check out their next public trunk show at Sport Time in Amagansett on August 3rd and 4th from 9-12 or visit