Serena Williams is an undeniable force on the tenniscourt—and off. Williams partners with HSN on a collectionof accessories and clothing called Signature Statement, is aspokeswoman for Mission Skincare and recently unveileda collaboration with OPI on the Glam Slam series of nailshades that will be released in conjunction with the next fourgrand slam tournaments. Her future plans include expanding her apparel repertoire, starting a chain of nail salons (sherecently went to cosmetology school for manicuring) andbuilding a school in Senegal for underprivileged children.André Leon Talley afﬁrmed her fashion cred by choosing heras his Fashion’s Night Out date, and designers curry favor withfront-row runway show seats. But Williams isn’t done addingto her tennis trophies, which now include 28 singles titles.Here, the champ chimes in on her career in and out of tennis,her passion for painted nails and her bodacious bod. We hear you are a manicure-pedicure fanatic. True? I am. Before I started manicure school, I got them doneevery four days. I bit my nails, and the only way I didn’tbite them was to get them done often. Since I have doneit since I was little, I decided to go to school for it. Schoolis really intense. It is totally different than anything I haveever done. It is artsy and crafty. I am excelling at the artsystuff that I didn’t think I was able to do.
How did you create the colors for OPI, and what's your favorite color? When you do a collection, you have to do it in advance andmake sure it is going to be in style. Thank goodness I have afashion background, because I was able to look up differentfashion and nail trends. OPI came up with this great conceptwhere you put on a nail polish and it actually cracks and itlooks like a completely different design that takes hours to do.
Do you want to start a nail salon chain? I’m actually in the process of doing that. It’s something thatI’ve wanted to do since I was younger. Whenever anyone inthe family wanted their nails done, they always came to me.
What is your beauty regime before a match? I have to do my hair, which takes a while to make sure it isperfect. I always have my nails done. If I’m playing a grandslam, which is two weeks, I redo my nails before the secondweek. I always have my hair done with a lot of hair spray andput on my infamous hair band.
How would you describe your approach to beauty? I deﬁnitely like simple and clean. If you were to see meon an everyday basis, I don’t wear makeup. Although if Iam doing something easy, I will put on some mascara andconcealer—just a little.
Is there a connection between beauty, sex appeal, power and sports? Deﬁnitely. Just because you play sports doesn’t mean you haveto be masculine and look like a male athlete when you are not.I have a voluptuous body. Sometimes, I don’t know how I playsports with some of the things on my body. You don’t see anytop athletes with my physique. Usually, they are not as curvyas I am. That being said, I think everyone can be sexy in theirown way and bring sex appeal.
So I take it you like your breasts? Couldn’t live without them.
How do you nurture your mind, body and soul? Meditate. That is not something I do every day, but itis something I have been trying to do every day, even ifit is ﬁve or 10 minutes.
What's your multitasking secret? I can’t focus on doing one thing. I have to havedifferent things going on. For me, if I do onething, I feel that I am not reaching my peak. Ifeel like more is better.
You've become a front-row staple at fashion shows. What is it about fashion shows that you love? I like them. I go to see what I can do for my own fashion lineand what are the latest styles and trends. I’m one of thosepeople who is taking notes at the fashion show.
What's on your notepad? A lot of doodling. A lot of different designs. Right now I amdesigning for a dance group, so I’m making onstage outﬁts,which is something that I have never done, but I love it. I getto experiment. It is a new group called Sally and Jane, and theydance really hard to different songs.
What show has been your favorite? I really enjoyed Rodarte. I was inspired by the elements theyuse like wood and different kinds of things. The show itselfwas sick.
Are tennis and your various fashion and beauty endeavors similar or different? It is similar because it takes a lot of discipline to do both. Forme, it is about completing each task the best that I can. I likebeing the best at what I do and jumping from tennis to doing fashion is cool, but…it is totally different work. You haveto come at it as a junior. I have never done this before andhopefully people like it. There are going to be critics. It is likestarting over after you have completely made it.
Do you take criticism well? You can’t take things personal. It is all about having an openmind. You should look to critics and say, “What can I do to bebetter, whether it is design or being a better businesswoman orbeing a better boss?”
You're still getting over a foot injury, right? I’m on the injury list. I am on the way to recovery, which isnever easy.
When are you returning to the court? Hopefully soon. I literally can’t wait to get back.
When do you think you will leave tennis and take up your outside ventures full time? When I’m ready. I’m deﬁnitely not ready now.Especially when you are injured and sitting out,you realize how much you miss your main job. Ilove it. More than anything, I love winning.
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