A Grand Slam for Glamour: Serena Williams Stages an Intimate Showing at New York Fashion Week

Serena Williams, center, with models for the S by Serena presentation during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on Feb. 12, 2020, in New York City.
Serena Williams, center, with models for the S by Serena presentation during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on Feb. 12, 2020, in New York City.
Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

Who’s our No. 1 stunner on and off the tennis court? Without a doubt, it’s Serena Williams, who has been using her off-court hours to work on her designing game, turning out increasingly impressive collections for her S by Serena fashion line.

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If there’s a Grand Slam for the fashion industry, it’s our biannual Fashion Weeks, an exhaustive series of international presentations showing what’s new and next in the world of style. This Fashion Week, Williams took a more intimate approach than her star-studded show last September, joining Anna Wintour, Vogue editor in chief and artistic director and global content advisor of parent company Condé Nast, for a “fireside chat” about her passion for fashion, a handful of her latest offerings, and the inspiration behind her evolving brand.

“I am constantly inspired by my travels and the people I get to meet along the way,” Williams told Wintour and an audience that included legendary fashion editor Andre Leon Talley and editor-turned-bestselling author Elaine Welteroth. Williams’ close friend and fellow tennis phenom Caroline Wozniacki, wearing custom S by Serena, was among the day’s models, all of whom were adorned with Serena Williams Jewelry, the ethically responsible, high-end jewelry line Williams launched in late 2019. And aside from a remarkable $64-$139 price point, the clothing was instantly shoppable as part of a “see now, buy now” format

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According to a release from the label:

During the non-traditional and intimately formatted showing at Spring Studios, [Williams] held a fireside chat with Anna Wintour, providing her personal insights into the future of fashion, motherhood and the source of inspiration for this season’s collection. The pair, who are considered trailblazers respectively, discussed inclusivity in fashion, building connection and community, and the celebration of strong women everywhere.

With this new collection, I want women wearing S Brand to feel like they can walk out of the door confident, sexy, and determined,” said Williams.

While Wintour might be the most powerful woman—if not person—in the fashion industry, Williams is well known as one of the most powerful in the history of tennis; a legacy that would already be well-assured even if she never picked up another racket. But the champion’s tireless work ethic clearly applies to more than her tennis game; her latest collection might be her most elevated yet: a collection of evening-ready gowns, exotic prints and leather looks for day. In all, it successfully built upon the strong showing S by Serena gave us last season. (All images provided by S by Serena.)

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But perhaps most refreshingly, as a woman who has consistently defied the odds and helped redefine beauty standards, Williams—athlete, mother, designer, entrepreneur, and bona fide icon—once again made an effort to make her latest presentation an inclusive one.

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“Sometimes it feels rare to see faces and shapes that reflect what we see in the mirror,” she told Wintour. “It was important for me to showcase imagery specifically that makes women of all kinds feel seen and included. I’m excited for women to take this collection around the world.”

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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