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The Tennis star is currently gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated's fourth annual Fashionable 50 Issue, which honors the most stylish athletes in sports

By Dave Quinn
July 19, 2019 10:43 AM
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Serena Williams may have lost at Wimbledon, but she looked like a winner at the Sports Illustrated Fashionable 50 event on Thursday night.

The 37-year-old tennis star was all smiles as she walked the red carpet at the annual affair, held at the Sunset Room in Los Angeles.

Dressed in a $820 beige Burberry vinyl pencil skirt, which she paired with a white thank top, Williams posed for photographers and showed off her championship smile. The tennis star accessorized her look with a collection of gold necklaces, a coordinating bracelet and watch, and tan pumps.

To brighten up her look even more, Williams showed off golden hair highlights — a change from her Wimbledon curls.

Celebrities like Lindsey Vonn, her boyfriend P.K. Subban, Chloe Kim, and Iman Shumpert also attending the party — though it was undoubtedly Williams’ night.

The mother of daughter, Olympia, currently graces the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s fourth annual Fashionable 50 Issue, which honors the most stylish athletes in sports.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Inside the issue, the 23-time Grande Slam champion opened up about her longtime love of fashion.

My whole career has been really about tennis and fashion,” Williams told the magazine. “I always try to make a statement when I walk out on the court — to be bold and to be unique and to kind of transcend. I always try to send the message of just being confident and being fierce.”

But onlookers haven’t always been kind of the looks’ Williams has worn on and off the court.

Last August, the star rocked a skin-tight, black catsuit that made her feel like a “queen from Wakanda” to the French Open, which the French Tennis Federation later banned.

But the style criticism doesn’t bother the tennis champ.

“People always have things to say when you’re wearing fashion,” she told SI. “It could be good things. It could be bad things.”

“I don’t care what people say,” added Williams, who shares daughter Alexis Olympia, 1, with husband Alexis Ohanian, 36. “I’m like just so past it—you could say whatever you want to say. Honestly, you’re allowed to have your opinion. My life is far too complicated to worry about people that want to say mean things. I have a daughter, I have a family, I have a career. I have too much to worry about.”

The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion - Arrivals
Serena Williams at the Met Gala
| Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty
US Open Tennis Championships, Day 3, USTA National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York, USA - 29 Aug 2018
Serena Williams at the US Open in August 2018
| Credit: Juergen Hasenkopf/REX/Shutterstock

Williams studied fashion in the early 2000s at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

It wasn’t something that was done — like you can’t focus on two things,” she recalled to the outlet. “But I really liked fashion and wanted to learn, and I didn’t want my career to stop. I knew one day I wanted to create this brand that would be for people that have different aspirations and want to be fierce at the same time.”

The athlete then took fashion matters into her own hands and channelled all of she knew into a direct-to-consumer fashion line, S by Serena. The line includes clothing Williams says her consumers can “wear every day,” including loungewear, basics, and work-appropriate items.

“Maybe the T-shirt isn’t the most cutting-edge T-shirt, but there’s something about it that speaks to people who aren’t living the Russell Westbrook lifestyle, and she’s very attuned to that,” Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America — a group of almost 500 American fashion designers — told SI. “She understands the power of the message.”

And if there’s one other thing Williams understands it’s falling and getting back up.

S by Serena is her third foray into fashion, after previous lines — 2004’s Aneres (“Serena” spelled backwards) and a recent Home Shopping Network line called Serena Signature Statement — failed to take off.

This time, it’s different.

“I tried it before and it didn’t work. Then I sat down and invested in myself and really put a really good effort behind it. Now I really get to express myself,” Williams said. “I get to see how you can wear fashion so many different ways and how you can represent yourself. I have this whole big vision of what S by Serena is going to be.”