The athlete and designer sat down with the Vogue editor-in-chief for a panel discussion before presenting her S by Serena Spring 2020 collection during New York Fashion Week

By Hanna Flanagan
February 12, 2020 03:23 PM

Serena Williams knows how to make a fashion statement both on and off the court.

One of the 38-year-old tennis player’s most iconic looks came when she walked onto the court wearing a black one-shoulder tutu dress — followed by the same Nike x Off-White design in lavender a few days later — at the 2018 U.S. Open.

Fans and social media users went wild for Williams’ pretty tulle and spandex outfits, that designer Virgil Abloh described as a “ballerina-esque silhouette to symbolize her grace.” And apparently, the 23-time Grand Slam winner (still!) loves them just as much as we do.

Before presenting her S by Serena Spring 2020 collection during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, the-athlete-turned-designer-turned-entrepreneur held a panel discussion with Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, where she shared that the Nike x Off-White tutus were two of her favorite tennis court looks of all time.

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“So I thought about that and I was thinking, immediately, the jean skirt that I wore in 2002 with the high boots,” the star said of the designs, which she wore in response to French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli banning her full-body catsuit. “Then I was like, that’s a lie. My favorite things in life are tutus. The tutu look with Virgil. I kept all those dresses.”

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“And sometimes I wear them,” she added with a laugh.

Olympia is a lucky girl,” Wintour responded. “She’s going to have a lot of choices.”

The fashion icon also asked Williams about the inspiration behind her over-the-top court outfits.

“I am trying things out. Sometimes they’re a miss,” the (who wore a long sleeve leather trench dress paired with tights and S by Serena jewelry) joked. “I think it’s so fun to have fun with fashion and in my sport, I have a great opportunity to play in something really wild and really fun and really express myself. Most people only see me on the court.”

Serena Williams and Anna Wintour during the S By Serena presentation
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After the panel, a diverse cast modeled the travel-inspired collection for a crowd of fashion royalty, including Wintour, André Leon Talley, Karlie Kloss, journalist and author Elaine Welteroth and designer Kerby Jean-Raymond.

Set in New York City’s Spring Studios, the Spring 2020 show featured giraffe print, sequins, vegan leather, cut outs and two-piece sets. The models rocked natural, glowy makeup by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics pros and sleek updos by celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen for TRESemmé.

Williams’ close friend and fellow tennis star Caroline Wozniacki closed the show in an animal print crop top and matching bodycon maxi skirt.