Serena Williams just won her first professional tennis match after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia, but somehow her French Open win isn’t today’s biggest Williams-related news. So here it is: Serena Williams is launching her own direct-to-consumer fashion collection of sportswear and evening wear. As if that weren’t enough, every piece is under $250.
I just love this article on her fashion collection from Vogue.com
At a preview of the line, which launches today with 12 items and will have additional releases throughout the summer and fall, Williams explained the philosophy behind the Serena collection. “We want people to be able to actually look good and not have to overpay for it,” she said, clad in a sleek black tank and red pencil skirt with black detailing. “That’s what I want to do. I want to make pieces that you look good in, that aren’t outrageously priced.”
Her debut release spans underwear, denim, tees, jackets, and an olive green silk crepe slip dress for which she personally selected the fabric. “The slip dress is so classic, and I wanted to bring it in more of a silk crepe, something that has more texture. You know, usually silk slips are just smooth—which I love—but I wanted to do something different,” Williams said with a little smirk. “You know I love to be different.”
It’s Williams’s own fierce effortlessness that differentiates this collection from other celebrity-backed fashion lines. You can feel her hand in a varsity knit with the letter Wemblazoned on the chest, just the right mix of sporty and curve-hugging sexy. You can imagine Williams tossing on that gold foil anorak over her tennis gear for practice. (Gold really is the color associated with champions, isn’t it?) You can relate to her struggle to make the perfect jeans in Los Angeles: “I got so tired of seeing only stretch jeans,” she said with a shrug. “I wanted to bring structure back to jeans. You know, you don’t see jeans that have structure that can fit skinny girls or curvy girls, but these do. They fit me so well, and, yes, they have a little give to them, so you can obviously get into them, but it brings it back to that classic jeans shape from the ’80s.”
But more than any design element or the sheer genius of launching her collection direct to her fans and skipping the middle man—“I’m a modern girl. I married a guy who’s in tech, and I’m in tech!” she proudly declares of her strategy—it is her level of commitment and care to perfecting each piece that really sets Serena apart. “I wanted to do it right. We were actually supposed to launch about eight months ago, but that obviously couldn’t happen,” she said, referencing her pregnancy and wedding as important moments that put the launch on hold. So instead of rushing or cramming to make it work, Williams took it slow, turning her focus to how to make this the best collection for women everywhere.
Becoming a mom, she explained, actually helped her rethink the collection. “I actually want to look better. I want to always be stylish, so I have to make more of an effort, because I have the baby,” she said, letting down her guard for just a second to add, “God, you don’t care about yourself as much when you become a mom; it’s all about the baby!” Those moments, as Williams tells it, only helped her feel more inspired to create pieces that can make a woman feel dressed and ready to take on the day without any fuss or frills. Future pieces have inspirational messaging inscribed on them, so wearers can be reassured throughout the day: “It’s just a friendly reminder: ‘I’m strong and I’m beautiful,’” said Williams.
Who knows? Maybe Olympia will be getting into the fashion game soon. With a sly smile, Williams said, “Stay tuned; rumor has it she has a collection, too, and she’ll be part of it.”