Serena Williams is launching her own direct-to-consumer fashion collection of sportswear and eveningwear.
At a preview of the line, which launched on Wednesday with 12 items and will have additional releases throughout the summer and fall, Williams explained the philosophy behind the Serena collection. “We want people to be able to actually look good and not have to overpay for it,” she told Vogue US. “That’s what I want to do. I want to make pieces that you look good in, that aren’t outrageously priced.”
Her debut release spans underwear, denim, tees, jackets, and an olive green silk crepe slip dress that she personally selected the fabric for. “The slip dress is so classic, and I wanted to bring it in more of a silk crepe, something that has more texture. You know, usually silk slips are just smooth—which I love—but I wanted to do something different,” Williams paused. “You know I love to be different.”
It’s Williams’s own fierce effortlessness that differentiates this collection from other celebrity-backed fashion lines. You can feel her hand in a varsity knit with the letter W emblazoned on the chest, just the right mix of sporty and curve-hugging. You can imagine Williams tossing on that gold foil anorak over her tennis gear for a practice. (Gold really is the color associated with champions, isn’t it?) You can relate to her struggle to make the perfect jean in Los Angeles: “I got so tired of seeing only stretch jeans,” she shrugs. “I wanted to bring structure back to the jeans. You know, you don’t see jeans that have structure that can fit skinny girls or curvy girls, but these do. They fit me so well, and, yes, they have a little give to them, so you can obviously get in to them, but it brings it back to that classic jean shape from the ’80s.”
But more than any design element or the sheer genius of launching her collection direct to her fans and skipping the middle man – “I’m a modern girl. I married a guy who’s in tech and I’m in tech!” she proudly declares of her strategy – it is her level of commitment and care to perfecting each piece that really sets Serena apart. “I wanted to do it right. We were actually supposed to launch about eight months ago, but that obviously couldn’t happen,” she says, referencing her own pregnancy and wedding as important moments that put the Serena launch on hold. So instead of rushing or cramming to make it work, Williams took it slowly, turning her focus to how to make this the best collection for women everywhere.