Serena Williams: Fashion icon and activist
Serena Williams, the most famous and best tennis player in the history, has recently made the headlines with her recent match at the US Open final. While some people criticised her attitude and called it a “meltdown”, the majority of the crowd stood up by her side. She has always been seen as a strong powerful woman who fights for female rights and equality, both inside and outside the tennis courts, and due to that, an inspiration for women all over.
Far from being the stereotype of what’s considered to be a beautiful woman – white, skinny, delicate – she has been dealing with criticism, racism and misogyny since day one but never backed down or felt intimidated. Body shaming and racist comments have regularly been addressed to her in over 20 years of her professional career as a tennis player. Despite having won 39 Grand Slam titles and being an Olympic gold medallist four times, it doesn’t seem to be enough for critics who usually find the smallest and silliest reasons to criticise her – as though she still needed to prove anything to anyone.
Serena’s strong personality and attitude are well reflected in her outfit choices: from an edgy leopard print dress to a black tank top and denim skirt. Her versatile style has changed quite a lot over the years but it has kept its originality and boldness – fashion is well-known to be one of her biggest passions, which is not difficult to guess, right?
One of her last fashion statement looks in court was her glamorous Black Panther-inspired catsuit. It was prohibited for the next French Open 2019, even though it was a functional and medical choice. After giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia last November, she has been having blood clot problems and this outfit was designed to help her. While some claim the rules need to be respected, some believe she is being singled out, as she has been several times before.
Her fashion background has led her to collaborate with giants such as Nike, a brand she has been collaborating with for over 14 years. Her latest collection was in partnership with Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton, and it was debuted during the US Open. Entitled Queen, the line comprises of one-shoulder tutu dresses, a leather bomber jacket, a bag, and three different models of shoes, designed from existing styles. Unfortunately, it will be sold only in NY – anyone fancy a tripsere?
Stepping up her game into the fashion world, she launched her own label this year. Called Serena, the brand has a range of athleisure pieces and stunning evening wear: from stretch jersey midi dresses to sexy leopard print ones. You can definitely picture her wearing all the pieces! The line has a reasonable price point varying from $30 for a T-shirt and $205 for a metallic parka.
From tennis player to fashion designer and businesswoman, Serena Williams represents every woman trying to balance personal and professional life, whilst also being an activist advocating for female empowerment and fighting racism and misogyny. No surprise she is one of the most powerful female icons and admired not only by a generation of young women but for her legion of fans all over the world. We can’t wait for her next venture.
Manuela Rio Tinto