Reflecting on Serena Williams's Tennis Fashion Legacy

Reflecting on Serena Williams's Tennis Fashion Legacy


 In a heartfelt essay penned for Vogue on August 11, Serena Williams, widely regarded as the greatest athlete of all time, announced her decision to transition away from tennis. Prioritizing her flourishing fashion empire, venture capitalism endeavors, and her role as a mother, Williams's impact on the court is indelible, marked by numerous milestones such as her record-setting 23 Grand Slam titles.

Williams's cultural influence extends beyond her tennis prowess, particularly in the realm of fashion. Since her debut in 1995, her dominance on the court has been accompanied by distinctive style choices, notably the braids and hair beads she and her sister Venus proudly wore. Amidst scrutiny over Black women's hair in professional settings, Williams's unwavering commitment to her signature style became a beacon of confidence and pride for young Black girls and women worldwide.

In August 2018, following the birth of her daughter, Williams made a powerful statement at the French Open by donning a black catsuit with a red compression waistband, designed by Nike to prevent blood clots. Despite its functional purpose, the French Tennis Federation, led by Bernard Giudicelli, deemed the catsuit inappropriate and subsequently banned it. 

Unfazed, Williams responded at the US Open with a custom black tutu, a collaboration with designer Virgil Abloh, symbolizing her "respect" for the game in a playful and assertive manner.

Her fashion choices continued to make headlines at the 2021 Australian Open, where she paid tribute to track and field athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner with a custom Nike piece. Inspired by Griffith-Joyner's iconic "one-legger" style, Williams sported an asymmetrical pink, black, and red unitard, showcasing her ongoing influence beyond the tennis court.

Serena Williams's impact on fashion extends beyond her playing days. In 2018, she launched her fashion brand, S by Serena, which has seen considerable success. Her role as Stuart Weitzman's ambassador and the #FootstepsToFollow campaign in 2021, featuring daughter Olympia, exemplify her commitment to positive influence and motherhood.

As Serena Williams embarks on this new chapter, her legacy as a fashion icon and trailblazer is secure. While her presence on the court will be missed, anticipation grows for the exciting chapters she will undoubtedly unfold. Serena Williams remains the queen of our court, transcending sports and leaving an enduring mark on the cultural landscape.

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