Thomas Concordia/WireImage for Style360
September 12, 2016 06:56 PM

Serena Williams was back in action on the runway Monday, a stage that she’s become as comfortable with as a tennis court, to show her third Signature Statement collection with HSN during New York Fashion Week.

To a backdrop of beats Williams gave us serious Lemonade vibes, launching into poetry, and at the end of each monologue repeating the powerful phrase: “She is woman.” Between spoken-word segments, models strutted in separates and dresses to Sia, M.I.A and Williams’s BFF, Beyoncé while her star-studded front row, including Anna Wintour, friends La La Anthony, Ciara and Caroline Wozniacki, sister Venus and designer Tommy Hilfiger (who called Williams an “incredible talent” on the show’s red carpet), took in the 42-piece line. 

Fabric was Williams’ biggest inspiration for her autumn collection, she tells PeopleStyle. “It’s really all about the [way they] feel. I’m really romantic, so I was thinking of [things] you want snuggle, like the pink faux shearling jacket. And long pieces because I always want to look taller and leaner.”

Thomas Concordia/WireImage for Style360
Thomas Concordia/WireImage for Style360

It’s those pieces that are Williams’ personal favorites. Describing her new column dress as having a body-con-like fit, she gushed that it’s “everything.” (The proof: La La rocked it to the show, below!)  The designer also admits to not being able to resist breaking out the collarless faux shearling number during a recent flight. “I couldn’t help myself. It’s just so nice!”

Starting at $29.90 for a belt, the collection includes other accessories such as two faux sherpa and faux leather backpacks, and hot-right-now items like V-neck body suits. “Right now, I love to create a classic look, and I throw a trendy piece with it,” she says.

Thomas Concordia/WireImage for Style360
Thomas Concordia/WireImage for Style360

Always a trend-setter herself, Williams and HSN put a new spin on the runway experience, offering customers the chance to watch — and shop — the show using HSN’s mobile app and on hsn.com.

“This collection is amazing because it’s the first time that everything on the runway is going to sold the second the model walks out. That’s pretty awesome!” said Williams.

Williams’ love of fashion dates back to her childhood.”I’ve been sewing my whole life. My mom taught me, and when I was young, I used to make clothes for my dolls. Then, when I finished high school, I went to fashion school.”

Like her elder sister Venus, 36, she attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. These days the two think nothing of lending one another a helping hand with their designs.

“[Venus] is always looking at my sketches and is like, ‘I like that so much!’ and actually, I’m always at her office hanging out. They’re always designing, and I’m like, ‘oh, I like that fabric better!’ We’re not competitive, it’s fun.”

Bryan Kasm/HSN
Bryan Kasm/HSN

Williams is even more hands-on with her own line, and this season played a key role in model casting, in addition to her various other duties. “I always look at the walk and make sure the models have confidence. It’s not easy for someone to [come] in and [do that]. I don’t think I could do it, personally, that’s why I’m on this side, not on the other side! We want the people who are buying the clothes to realize that you can be confident, you can look great.”

Thomas Concordia/WireImage for Style360
Thomas Concordia/WireImage for Style360

The runway show also included a labor of love for Williams, a limited quantity couture collection. “My dream is to do evening-wear and wedding dresses,” says Williams. “In school, I realized how much work that was, so at the end of school, I just got really smart and was like, evening wear is so intricate, and I love things that an everyday woman can wear and still feel good and look good, so I started [there]. But there’s still that evening-wear dream, you know?”

The show, hosted at Kia Style360, also marked the debut of her Diamonds Unleashed for Serena Williams jewelry collection, a collaborative effort between the athlete and jewelry designer Kara Ross.

Wrapping a whirlwind month which included a trip to the Rio Olympics followed by the U.S. Open, all while finalizing her collection and helping Australian intimates brand Berlei launch in the U.S., Williams, who last year described balancing tennis and designing “a lot,” this year says she’s taking everything in stride.

“I find balance by having so many things going on. For me, it almost clears my mind. My whole life I’ve been so busy, that I kind of need to keep that going. I don’t like to sit still and do nothing! That’s just kind of how it is. But training comes first. I do everything around that.”

What piece are you most excited to buy from Williams’ new line? Share below!

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