Donald Young may have lost his "Round of 16" match to Stan Wawrinka yesterday (spoiler alert), but his apparel certainly won the spotlight during his time at the U.S. Open. While Young has worn a variety of sportswear labels in the past, it was his kit from Boast—notorious for its marijuana leaf-like logo—that drew attention long after his time at the tournament was over.
First things first, the logo isn't a weed leaf, it's a Japanese maple leaf. While the two share a similar silhouette, there's definitely a difference. But for Boast, a brand that's (according to owner/president John Dowling) risen from a financial slump, the confusing logo is all apart of the label's cheekiness and attitude. “It’s a wink,” Dowling told Fortune.
Either way, the leaf logo didn't translate to much of the audience at Young's matches throughout the tournament, with some sounding off on twitter about the kit's perceived cannabis connection.
While the look may have left spectators confused, it's been a boon for Boast. According to Dowling, since he bought the brand back in 2010 (it was originally founded 1973 by a group of former Ivy Leaguers), he's been trying to re-insert the brand back into the the country clubs and tennis courts that inspired the label from the jump.
According to Dowling, the mentality behind a brand like Boast focuses more on the "lifestyle" of tennis. "It’s an on and off-the-court look for that dude, or that girl, for that matter," says Dowling. "When we developed the fabric for our active polo, I wanted it to have that traditional look, and also performance." It's what helps the brand stand out against athletic brands like adidas and Nike who focus more on utilizing modern materials like tech fabrics in its activewear.
But that doesn't mean the brand is joking around though. From the logo to the quality of the garments, Boast is a brand that likes to have fun—but takes its work seriously. "I just don’t want people to think it’s a gimmick, like a joke brand. Because it’s not," Dowling told Fortune. "I want to show guys that you can play in our stuff. And you’re going to look a little more stylish."
When Young—who agreed to wear Boast for free without an endorsement contract—rallied in day six of the tournament with a big win against Viktor Troicki, he didn't just give Boast a swell of great publicity, he also proved the gear could hold its own on the tennis court.
Like some of the U.S. Open's best matches, it's fun to root for the underdog player (or, in this case, brand) who's looking for their comeback.
There's still plenty of tennis to be seen in the U.S. Open. Get in the mood by heading over to Boast to shop their latest collection.