Tennis Meets Art: A Conversation with Tiger Curran, Co-Founder of Laurel Canyon Tennis Club

Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?

I’m Tiger Curran, co-founder of Laurel Canyon Tennis Club. I’m a costume designer for Film and TV and have worked in the costume department on Mad Men, Bullet Train, Deadwood, Hollywood, Shazam, and more.

I started learning to play tennis during the pandemic, when the gyms, yoga, and dance studios I would frequent all closed (shoutout to John at Riverside Tennis in Griffith Park for endless patience during my first lesson!). As a costume designer, dressing for the sport was always part of the fun.

As I became more and more obsessed with tennis, I needed more tennis outfits to inspire and feed my passion – but there was nothing out there besides super technical (think Nike/Adidas) or super traditional (Lacoste/tennis whites).

My best friend since college at UCLA is our co-founder Laurie Berger. Laurie has played tennis since she was young, and expressed similar desires for fun tennis apparel with more personality.

When we couldn’t find anything to buy, we realized we would have to be the ones to create clothing that fit our dream tennis lifestyle. The idea for Laurel Canyon Tennis Club and psychedelic activewear was born.

We both love bohemian LA culture of the 60s and 70s, and we had collaborated before in music (with producer Yeti Beats), so we knew we were capable of great creative mind-melding. I had the knowledge of fabrics, fit, and pattern making from costume design, and Laurie, an artist and graphic designer (Lauren Jane Studio), could create beautiful custom prints and logos for the brand.

We started small, only making a limited first run of styles in one print and one size. We called for help from good friends to model in exchange for orange wine and Thai food from Jitlada. My boyfriend, Carlo Alberto Orecchia, has taken our brilliant photos for the website and promotions, and I’m so grateful for his artistry and expertise. We celebrate successful photoshoots with dinner at Pace in Laurel Canyon.

What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?

Laurie is an artist and brand designer and draws our incredible prints! She spends about two months on each print, drawing all the details and perfecting the colors. With Laurel Canyon Tennis Club, we get to be our own clients, so we’re not afraid to really go down the rabbit hole with every detail because we get to decide when it’s perfect and done.

We’re locally printing it on this soft, high-quality recycled fabric and locally sewing it into these beautiful silhouettes in order to create something really special and daring and unique in the industry. It’s really exciting to hear peoples’ reactions to the prints and to know they are making people happy and feel good about themselves.
With my background in costume design, I have fit literally thousands of actors of all ages, shapes and sizes. I like to think that gives me some understanding of how clothes fit and what looks good. With our newest style, the skort, I went through seven revisions of the pattern before declaring it perfect.

I see some brands whose clothes look super cute online, but when you actually try them on, the fit looks strange on anyone but a size zero model. With Laurel Canyon Tennis Club, we are meticulous about the fit and the experience wearing it. It’s got to look and feel great on and off the court.

The fabric is durable in the wash (I’ve been wearing the same tennis dress every week for a year and a half and it’s still in great shape). Our customers say they get tons of compliments everywhere from the Vermont Canyon Tennis courts to Maru coffee for their pick me up after a game to twerking in a handstand at a club in Vegas (moisture-wicking fabric is important on the dance floor too!)

Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.

As soon as we launched, we had a ton of support from friends, family, and the tennis community. LA has so many awesome tennis groups like LVBL, TENNFIT, Racquet Club LA, Tenez, and the Racket Doctor tennis shop in Atwater Village. We are also so grateful for support early on from Racquet Magazine, the coolest tastemaker print publication about tennis.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?

Any time you break with the status quo, there is a risk your idea could be totally rejected. There are still a lot of tennis clubs that require all-white outfits and people who conform to that traditional aesthetic.

It was a pretty wild and risky idea for Laurel Canyon Tennis Club to create such psychedelic, colorful, and subversive patterns for tennis. We did start small, and we want to be smart about our decisions. Since we are still self-funded, all the risk will fall on us if a style gets zero traction.

Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business?  Why these specific individuals?

We would love to be offered at more retailers so our designs could be offered to a wider audience!
And any tennis players or influencers that could share the brand would be incredible!

Drop your social media links. 

@laurelcanyontennisclub on all platforms!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CpjZ6DAsphZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Mara Alcantara
Mara Alcantara
Digital marketing and content writing associate with a knack for spotting talent. Mara has a rare combo of creativity coupled with an analytical mind. Entertainment enthusiast.

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