Venus Williams

Venus Williams has gotten even bolder.

The tennis star — who said she is looking forward to playing in front of real-life fans this tennis season — unveils her second apparel and footwear collaboration with K-Swiss today and it is more colorful and versatile than the first one.

The 40-year old Williams is currently ranked 102nd by the World Tennis Association and has won seven Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledon championships and four Olympic gold medals.

In addition to her EleVen by Venus Williams lifestyle and fashion-forward activewear brand, Williams owns a full-service commercial and residential interior design firm, V Starr, and plant-based protein company Happy Viking.

For years, Williams has been a strong advocate for bringing pay equity to the tennis world, and in March unveiled the “Privilege Tax” initiative in conjunction with EleVen by Venus Williams to educate consumers about wage inequality and raise money for Girls Inc. of Greater Los Angeles.

The new limited-edition K-Swiss x EleVen by Venus Williams capsule, called “Glow Up,”  will be available for purchase at k-swiss.com and elevenbyvenuswilliams.com. Overall, there are pops of tie-dye and sun-kissed iridescent hues of bright pink and pearl.

Among the pieces are the All That Shimmers Sports Tank in sunburst pink for $69; the Light It Up Short in foil iridescent for $75, and the Sparklette Legging in sunburst pink for $99. There’s also a Palms Hoodie in bright white for $109, and a Sideline Snap Short in bright white for $75. Footwear includes the K-Swiss Court Traymore for $90 and the  K-Swiss Ultrashot for $150.

A tennis look from the L-Swiss x EleVen by Venus Williams collection.  courtesy shot.

WWD did a Q&A with Williams about the second edition of the collaboration, and what she’s looking forward to this year.

WWD: What have you learned from the experience working with K-Swiss?

Venus Williams: I was so excited to collaborate with K-Swiss again on the “Glow Up” collection! The brand has such a unique, creative approach, so I love working with them to create new, gorgeous wardrobe staples. They truly celebrate the design process, which is a dream for someone like me who loves to collaborate and create.

WWD: How does this capsule differ from what you’ve been doing with EleVen?

V.W.: It’s important for all of our EleVen by Venus collections to be super versatile, but I think this particular collection is even more versatile than others. Our iridescent pearl “Fly Away” jacket is a piece that could be worn casually with a pair of any EleVen by Venus leggings and K-Swiss sneakers, or it can be spiced up with a pair of dark skinny jeans and stilettos for a night out with the girls. Both options are killer looks and that’s what we were going for — boldness and versatility.

WWD:  How have you expanded the collaboration and what’s your point of view and aesthetic with this new collection?

V.W.: With this collection, it was important for us to create pieces that further exude confidence, whether that’s through a bold statement jacket or sporty yet stylish sneakers. The pieces are all designed with attitude to encourage women to embrace their authentic and best selves and strive to be an 11 out of 10 every day.

WWD: What were some of the design requirements that were necessary so the collection could be for performance purposes?

V.W.: We definitely wanted this collection to feature pieces with both sleek designs and built-in comfort, all while ensuring women felt their absolute best. It was important for the collection to represent confidence, individuality and versatility while also embodying both the K-Swiss and the EleVen by Venus brands.

WWD: How did you use color in the collection?

V.W.: We really wanted to add pops of color for this collection, especially since summer is just around the corner. Don’t get me wrong — I love classic colors like white and black, but adding a pop is so important and can elevate any look. The collection features several pieces with sun-kissed iridescent hues of bright pink and pearl, which I think are such fun, vibrant summer colors.

WWD: What specific and interesting details did you incorporate in both the performance and lifestyle looks?

V.W.: All pieces from the collection are super versatile. I wanted the pieces to be something that could be worn either during an intense workout or while relaxing at home. With the world stating to slowly reopen, I know that I can wear these looks either on the court during tournaments this summer or when I’m chilling at home and just want to be comfortable, yet stylish.

WWD: Who is the customer for this collection?

V.W.: This collection is for any woman who is working toward becoming the best version of themselves. With all my EleVen lines, our goal is to help women achieve their goals, whether it’s on the court, in the gym or in any other aspect of life. A great outfit can lift spirits and help motivate, so we want our pieces to inspire women to continue working to become better than their best.

WWD:  What makes this line different from what’s already out there in the market?

V.W.: I love that this collection is a twist on the classics. K-Swiss is timeless and iconic, and at EleVen, we love to play with patterns and colors, so we took those qualities and merged them to create fresh, contemporary looks.

WWD: How are you feeling about the upcoming tournament season?

V.W.: I love competing so I’m very happy that tournaments are starting to get back to normal. Fans are beginning to be allowed back, too, which makes a big difference. My fans are huge motivators for me. I always want to make them proud, so having them back in the stands is really exciting.

WWD: What pieces in the line are you most excited about?

V.W.: I’m obsessed with the “All That Shimmers Sports Tank” and “Sparklette” legging in sunburst pink. It’s a gorgeous pop of color, buttery soft and the perfect summer look. I just love everything about it.

WWD: With the world opening up, what are you looking forward to be able to do again?

V.W.: So many things! Personally, I can’t wait to go to a concert again. I love music and I love dancing, so once it’s safe I will definitely be hitting up the live music scene.

A look from the K-Swiss x EleVen by Venus Williams collection.  courtesy shot.

 

A tennis outfit from the K-Swiss x EleVen by Venus Williams collection.