On and off the court, Serena Williams serves up style and beauty looks that keep us all buzzing. And fresh from launching her third Signature Statement Collection with HSN at New York Fashion Week (which drew fashion heavyweights Anna Wintour and Tommy Hilfiger to the front row) as well as celebrating the U.S. launch for intimates brand Berlei, for which she’s a brand ambassador, the tennis champ and designer is opening up to PeopleStyle about the decisions behind her daring looks.
At the core of all her choices: Her pretty rad beauty and fashion philosophy. “It doesn’t matter your body type; you really have to be confident in you,” she says. “When you exude that, people believe it.” Below, she shares the secrets of her bold style moves.
She loves a god bra selfie: This summer, Williams pretty much shut down body shamers everywhere with one gorgeous bra-revealing selfie. But Williams maintains there’s no motive behind that, or similar posts. “To be honest, sometimes I wake up and I am so in love with my bra first thing in the morning that I’ll post it,” she admits, adding, “It’s always fun to post those pictures. There’s really no science behind it, it’s not planned. I just think that when you really love something and you’re really proud of it, post it.”
She WILL suffer for fashion: The word function has no place in a conversation with Serena about red carpet dresses. While on the court, the athlete is all about outfits that allow her to perform at the highest level, for the red carpet, she could care less about major details — like breathing. “I’m always telling my stylist, ‘I don’t need to breathe!’ I will just sip in air,” says Williams, whose favorite body part to show off is her waist. “I think as you get older, you know what things look best on you, and I feel like a high waist always looks good on me.”
She swears by good tailoring: Williams might ace every red carpet look she puts together, but the process isn’t as easy as she makes it seem, she reveals. “I’m fortunate to have people tailor things [for] me, or else I think the process [of finding a dress] would be a disaster!” And when the designer has time, she’ll even whip up her own outfits. “I’ve made a lot of red carpet looks. But [when I haven’t] the other looks have been collaborations. I’m just like, ‘we need to do this, let’s try this fabric, how about adding this inside of that?’”
She’s a huge Snapchat fan: “The one thing I like about Snapchat is no comments,” says Williams, who regularly posts on the social media platform. “It’s a different type of social media platform, especially for celebrities,” adds the athlete, who says she tries not to read comments on Instagram (not surprisingly, her posts can rack up thousands of responses).
She’s obsessed with crop tops: Her favorite trend right now? “I’ve learned that I only like to wear crop-tops!” she says. “It’s pretty much all I wear nowadays.” And she doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it, either. “That’s the message I try to get across — you decide,” she says. “You decide who you are and how fabulous you are. You don’t let anyone else decide that.”
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For more from Serena Williams, pick up the newest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.