For most people, playing in the French Open — and mounting a major comeback after having their first child — in a sport they have spent almost a decade and a half dominating would count as enough to do in a single week. But the rest of us aren’t Serena Williams.
As she is powering her way through the French Open — in a catsuit that caught the world’s attention — Williams is also launching her own fashion brand. The line called “S” features casual crop-tops, joggers and dresses, priced from $40 to $205. By her own description, the styling is Juicy Couture meets Balmain.
“I was obsessed with Juicy growing up, so this is my version of that,” Williams told Women’s Wear Daily, where she explained the inspiration behind the tracksuits in her collection. Apart from the athleisure pieces, the Serena label will offer denim and sharp-shouldered blazers for those looking for a fierce office style.
“I love a shoulder pad,” Williams added. “I put an extra one in for mine to get a real-structured, Balmain look.”
This is Williams first fashion venture — previously, she worked with HSN and Nike on clothing collaborations, but the Serena label is 100 percent her own. Notably, she is not a celebrity tourist in the fashion industry. Writing about the decision on Twitter, Serena noted that fashion has been her long-time passion and that, at times, she has even put it ahead of tennis.
“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,” she wrote. “Some criticized my decision, but I knew I had two loves — tennis and fashion — and had to find a way to make them coexist.”
Even though she is an undeniably successful athlete, pursuing her other passion has been a lot harder. Williams noted that she has sketched ideas and presented them to potential partners — only to be told repeatedly that she should perhaps stick to tennis. According to Williams, that only served to stiffen her resolved.
She wrote, “If you know anything about me, you know that when someone tells me ‘no,’ it only makes me work harder.”