How Serena Williams Found Time to Launch Her Clothing Line: 'I Don't Sleep and I Work on the Road'
Find out the inspiration behind her empowering new clothing line
Serena Williams has been acing her style on the court (have you seen her high-fashion U.S. Open outfits yet?), and now she’s bringing her sporty and chic style sensibility to the street!
The tennis champ launched her own eponymous clothing line in May with a 12-piece capsule collection, and has been rolling out everything from graphic tees to mini dresses to denim since the first drop. The line features a wide mix of items from athleisure-based to party-ready looks, but each piece is meant to give the wearer a big dose of confidence thanks to Williams’ thoughtful design touches.
“This collection is inspired by femininity and strength,” Williams tells PEOPLE. “It’s bringing those two together. Who said you can’t be both?”
This marked characteristic makes the line noticeably different than other pieces she’s designed throughout her tenure of collaborations with companies such as Nike, Puma and HSN. “This is more me. I’ve always designed for other people in different companies and [there are] limitations,” she explains. “This time I am the total fashion director and design director of it. I’m bringing my fashion to vision, which I’ve always wanted to do since I’ve been to fashion school all those ages ago.”
When she began designing she knew she wanted everything (even her most avant-garde pieces) to have an easy wearability to them.
“These are looks that you can actually wear at home and are really affordable,” she says, referencing a biker short and crop top that she promises can truly be worn in real life on women of any age.
“It’s all about doing what you want to do and not being afraid,” she explains. “Remember this [line] is wearable, and these biker shorts are wearable biker shorts.”
For anyone weary of crop tops, she even provides expert styling advice. “Wear a tank underneath or a pair of high-waisted pants. With high-waisted bottoms, it ends up not being cropped at all.”
A lot of pieces come in her favorite color — pink — and are embroidered with empowering words such as “royal,” “be greater” and “slay.”
Customers will also find her brand’s “S” logo emblazoned on pieces throughout the collection, which is meant to provide a way for the wearer to find their own inspiring “s” word.
“My ‘S’ is strong and sure,” Williams says. “I have a really good friend of mine, who’s been through a lot and her ‘S’ word is ‘survivor.’ That really touched me. My mom’s ‘S’ word is ‘steadfast’ and boy, is she steadfast.”
So how does a tennis star (who is currently playing at the U.S. Open) balance running a fashion empire with training and family life? “I just work, I don’t sleep and I work on the road,” Williams says.
She explains that having her very own fashion line is something she’s “always wanted to do” but held back on until now. “I finally took that leap and I have invested in myself and I did it. I always tell my friends, you have to invest in yourself, and I have to take my own advice. I did that, I was like this is what I want to do and we’re going to be successful at it because I believe in me and what we do. If we do it right, it’s going to be good.”
Just like Williams’ inspiring presence on the court, she’s about to take your closet by storm.
– with reporting by Sharon Kanter