FROM LEFT ROW 1 & 2: TORY SPORT PERFORMANCE STRIPED SLEEVELESS RUFFLE POLO WITH LUCKY IN LOVE SCALLOP SKIRT; POIVRE BLANC POLO TANK TOP AND TENNIS SKORT; TORY SPORT PERFORMANCE MERINO V-NECK SWEATER WITH INPHORM PLEATED TENNIS SKIRT; ROW 3: POIVRE BLANC TENNIS DRESS; INPHORM ASYMMETRICAL TENNIS DRESS; TORY SPORT V-NECK TENNIS DRESS
Mason’s Tennis has been a part of the New York City shopping landscape since 1975 — a go-to destination for NYC’s tennis set and tourists alike. Opened by founder Mark Mason during tennis’s heyday, when players like Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, John McEnroe, and Vitas Gerulaitas ruled the courts — and brands like Fila, Tacchini, and Ellesse made tennis style as big a part of the game as the matches themselves.
Mason’s is one of those original NYC specialty stores you don’t really find anymore, small but jam-packed, like a hardware store that’s got everything you need. Here it’s tennis — racquets, apparel, shoes, and accessories. The store was originally located on 7th Ave between 57th and 58th St, and moved to its current location on 53rd between Park and Madison in 1999.
Mark’s daughter Dana came on board in 2002, fresh out of college, with a clear eye and passion for tennis fashion. “I wasn’t planning on staying for a long time”, she says, “but fell in love with working side by side with my Dad everyday”. The two have worked together ever since. “It’s been so great working with her”, says Mark, “especially when she’s as good as Dana. She’s the best buyer in the country.”
DANA AND MARK MASON
Tennis really invented “athleisure”, long before this sector of the fashion industry became so popular, with chic and stylish sport apparel you can wear all day. There is a plethora of boutique tennis lines that have launched in recent years like Lucky in Love, Tory Sport, InPhorm, Sofibella, and Poivre Blanc. Along with the classics like Lacoste, Fila, and Nike, Mason’s Tennis carries them all — or a curated selection I should say — for which Dana is responsible.
Dana has brought in more of a fashion aspect into the selection Mason’s carries, which has exploded sales, but these lines are just as much about performance as style. “My ladies”, as she likes to call her customers, “are active and can play — and they wear their tennis outfits all day long.” She knows what they like and don’t like, what fits and what doesn’t, and what they will buy for their multiple homes in the Hamptons, Palm Beach, LA, Dallas, and the Bahamas.
DANA ON HER FAVORITES & BESTSELLERS…
TORY SPORT… “For the classic country clubber, it’s tailored but feminine with nice silhouettes. Pieces are easy to mix and match. The fabrics are technical — lightweight and wicking.”
POIVRE BLANC… “This a Swiss brand that started with skiwear. We’ve got the exclusive on tennis. It’s sporty and not too girly. The fabrics are soft and lightweight, pique, lots of whites – and simply perfect.”
SOFIBELLA… “This line fits every body from XS to L, and looks good on all! Great fabrics and detailing — quilted, waffle, and honeycomb.”
INPHORM… “Sporty but feminine with something for everyone… pleats, but straighter too, and everything in between.
ROW 1 & 2: TORY SPORT PERFORMANCE PIQUE PLEATED COLLAR POLO AND TWO TONE PLEATED HEM TENNIS SKIRT; SOFIBELLA STRETCH MICROFIBER & MESH TENNIS JACKET WITH NIKECOURT DRI-FIT TENNIS SKIRT; SOFIBELLA HIGH NECK TANK AND DIAMOND LUX PLEAT SKIRT; ROW 3: LACOSTE SPORT SPORT COLORBLOCK STRETCH JERSEY DRESS; LACOSTE FACE MASKS; NIKE COURT TENNIS VISOR; OLIVER THOMAS TENNIS BACKPACK
Mason’s Tennis is considered a tourist destination as well for tennis enthusiasts around the world. According to Dana, people rarely leave the store empty handed. With tourism on hold for the time being in NYC, and no live matches to get people excited to buy new gear and apparel, the Coronavirus pandemic has slowed sales. But tennis is the perfect socially distanced sport, and with so many regular customers leaving NYC for their vacation homes, Dana has been busy shipping new tennis wear to her clients around the world.
Closed for a couple of months, the store has recently reopened with safety protocols in place. Mask’s must be worn in the store, but special Mason’s Tennis masks are available upon request!