Since the start of her career, Serena Williams has used her strength to empower women across the globe. Now, the tennis icon is looking to do so through a new medium: a fashion line of her own.
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Just one day after winning her first Grand Slam match since giving birth to daughter Olympia, Williams is debuting her first eponymous fashion brand, Serena. With affordable prices ranging from $35 – $250, the first drop of the collection, a 12-piece capsule, officially launches today.
Serena bralette, $45, briefs, $40, and metallic parka, $215, serenawilliams.com.
“My inspiration was strength—bringing femininity and strength to the modern woman. My goal is for women to feel confident and sexy when they’re wearing it. It’s practical and wearable, yet it makes you feel good and walk taller—everyone should have that feeling,” Williams told BAZAAR.com.
But the collection goes beyond tennis-approved athleisure and into unexpected territory with pieces like vintage-inspired structured denim and sexy slip dresses. Additional drops of the debut Serena collection will be released throughout summer and fall—with a total of 75 new styles to come.
Serena sweatshirt, $60, and joggers, $70, serenawilliams.com.
While Williams says strength and positive affirmations were key in inspiring the pieces from her new collection, another special someone also served as a major source of inspiration for the athlete/designer: her 9-month-old daughter, Olympia.
“Ever since [giving birth to] Olympia I was like, ‘Okay I have a daughter, I want her to feel good about herself.’ She is strong already, so I want her to feel beautiful and I want to spread that message through the collection,” Williams said.
While speaking with BAZAAR.com, she also hinted that we can expect some Serena pieces from little Olympia in the future, “Olympia is coming out with a piece or two in the collection,” she teased excitedly. Serena welcomed her first child, a baby girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., with husband Alexis Ohanian Sr. back in September.
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Serena denim chain dress, $205, serenawilliams.com.
What’s most surprising from the Serena collection, however, is the capsule of structured denim pieces—which includes an overall dress with chain straps, high-waisted jeans, and a denim mini skirt.
“I got tired of seeing all this 90% stretch denim so I wanted to go back to structured denim, like what the original jeans were like.” Williams explained.
Serena varsity dress, $195, serenawilliams.com.
As for the rest of the 75-piece collection, that will be released in drops spread out over the next two seasons. This morning, Williams took to Instagram to announce the first 12 pieces from the launch of her e-commerce site—and to share the backstory of her love of fashion.
They say life is about timing. I learned this lesson at age 18, when I chose to play a light tennis schedule because I wanted to go to fashion school. Some criticized my decision, but I knew I had two loves–tennis and fashion–and had to find a way to make them coexist. After 15 years of false starts, and people in fashion telling me "no," it only only drove me to work harder. As a result, I discovered what it meant to invest in myself, and I allowed that belief in myself to drive me to reach my dream. Today, I am proud to launch @serena , my own online shop. Never stop believing in yourself, you're worth it. #BeSeenBeHeard
“They say life is about timing. I learned this lesson at age 18, when I chose to play a light tennis schedule because I wanted to go to fashion school. Some criticized my decision, but I knew I had two loves–tennis and fashion–and had to find a way to make them coexist. After 15 years of false starts, and people in fashion telling me “no,” it only only drove me to work harder. As a result, I discovered what it meant to invest in myself, and I allowed that belief in myself to drive me to reach my dream,” Williams wrote.
And given her history in both the tennis and fashion realms, it’s likely we can count this endeavor as her latest grand slam. Shop Serena’s new collection now at serenawilliams.com.
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This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US.