Serena Williams: Acing Style

Saturday, September 1, 2018
Serena Williams and Karlie Kloss at the Serena popup.


Serena Williams, who made headlines last night for beating sister Venus and advancing to the fourth round of the U.S. Open. has long been a style ace on the tennis circuit. Take her apparently controversial catsuit at the French Open. And the tutu she wore in response. Now, she brings her fashion sensibilities off the court with the launch of her new line of womenswear, Serena

AVENUE caught up with Williams at the launch of her Serena popup in New York last month.

What was your inspiration for starting Serena?

I studied fashion at the Art Institute [of Ft. Lauderdale] and I always wanted to do it…I invest in so many people and one day it hit me like a ton of bricks—I need to invest in myself. It was also a message to teach women. That was one of our first newsletters. Believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. If people like me struggle with it [self image] for years, I’m here to tell you you can do it.

Who were you thinking of with the collection? Who did you design it for?

We’re thinking of a woman who wants to be confident. Maybe she’s not feeling confident that day, [and] she can throw on a top and feel confident. Someone that believes in herself and is unapologetically herself. We don’t design for a certain look or body. We design for the inside. It’s who you are, not what you wear.

Why did you decide to use “S” on your clothing, instead of “Serena?”

S is such a powerful letter. Thank you mom!Whatever your S is when you wear our logo tank, you can just be you for the day. My S is “sure” because I need to feel sure of myself. And “strong.” And my mom’s S is “steadfast,” which is totally her.

You’ve incorporated a lot of leopard prints into the collection?

Leopard print is my favorite things in the world. I want a leopard print couch one day. I have to find one. You’ll see like sneaks of leopard print coming through. We have a leopard print dress leopard print tank shirt. There’s a hint of it every now and then.

And you’ve done a lot with jean?

We want to do a really comfortable jean jacket that you can wear with everything. It’s like the boyfriend jean jacket that you don’t really see any more. And we want to use a really good fabric. All our fabrics are really high-end, high quality. It’s the vintage [style of] the ’80s. I never had that [because it] didn’t have a lot of stretch.

We’re trying to make a bold statement. That goes back to who we want to design for. We’re making jeans that don’t have a lot of stretch in it, but you can still fit in it.

What is your go-to outfit?

It depends. I’m obsessed with a silk dress. But three days in a row when I was in Italy and I had date night with my husband and I wore the tank dress. It comes in three different colors and every day he was like ‘wow I love your dress.’ On the third day I was like ‘Alexis, this is the same dress just a different color.’ It’s a totally date night [dress]. Total go to dance in


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