Less than 24 hours after clawing her way to win at the French Open in her return to Grand Slam singles play, Serena Williams released her long-anticipated streetwear fashion line, Serena.
Williams, who also won her first majors doubles match in two years with sister Venus Wednesday morning, took to Twitter to give fans the inside story on her second passion:
They say life is about timing. I learned this lesson at age 18, when I chose to play a light tennis schedule because I wanted to go to fashion school. Some criticized my decision, but I knew I had two loves–tennis and fashion–and had to find a way to make them coexist.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 30, 2018
“That was 2001. I had a vision to create a fashion line unrelated to tennis, but soon realized the complexities of manufacturing and running a business was more than my schedule would allow, as I focused on winning Grand Slams.
I tried many times to align with people who could help me get things off the ground while I played tennis worked with designers and sketched my ideas. I got so many no’s from potential partners, people I admired and respected.
Every time I would go into a department store to present a collection it would always end up with – we love it but we are going to pass.
15 years of false starts and people telling me “no” was frustrating, but also made me more determined. If you know anything about me, you know that when someone tells me “no,” it only makes me work harder.
One day, I was encouraging my best friend to invest in herself and pursue a dream of hers. A light bulb went off when I realized I needed to take my own advice.
Here I was, a spokeswoman for women, telling them to never give up and believe in themselves when no one else does. I needed to take a moment to look in the mirror and encourage myself and invest in myself for once.
23 Grand Slam titles later, I assembled my power team and we got to work. We designed and we planned. I wanted to be fully hands on, and work without any limitations. Everyone on the team believed in me and for the first time, I truly believed in myself.”
Her online shop description reads: “ Introducing Serena, my first independent clothing line for all the ladies out there being awesome. My designs are inspired by strong, sexy, sophisticated, sassy, sure, smart, stylish, silly, and spontaneous women who are living their best lives, or making it up as they go—kinda like me.” Her site also prominently features the slogan ‘#BeSeenBeHeard.'”
Known for her bold looks, on- and off-court
Williams, 36, has long been known for her bold fashion choices. Since her early years in the sport, her on-court looks have consistently pushed the envelope, and her off-court looks have been just as unique. She recently made headlines for wearing sneakers to both her own wedding and the Royal Wedding after-party:
Little known fact: I often wear sneakers under my evening gown. These @maisonvalentino @pppiccioli gave to me last min. I told him be careful I tend to be comfy for long nights #beingserena pic.twitter.com/JRZAOrJvjI
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 20, 2018
In addition to now having her own brand, Williams is sponsored by Nike, where she has a signature line of tennis wear. She made her Grand Slam debut Tuesday in a custom Nike ‘cat suit,’ in tribute to ‘a ll the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and have to come back and try to be fierce, in the middle of everything.’
She returned to the sport in February after the birth of his first child and ensuing life-threatening complications in September 2017.
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