Venus Williams is hoping to score in the red-hot ath-leisure market.
The tennis pro this month will launch Epitome by EleVen by Venus Williams, a capsule collection designed to appeal to the woman seeking fashion-forward, active-inspired product.
“EleVen is more performance,” Williams said, “but this is more lifestyle-driven.”
Epitome is being billed as a luxe resort collection and encompasses an assortment of tops, capri pants, shorts and jackets that can be worn “after a fabulous spa appointment or for jet-setting around the world,” the company said. Its tagline is: “You’ve done the work, now live!”
Williams said the collection uses soft, washed fabrics and centers around an abstract print that depicts the muscular skeletal system. “We snuck in the activewear element,” she said with a laugh. “It’s the type of product everyone wears.”
Each piece is garment dyed so there are subtle differences in each and all are laundered to be soft.
Williams said there are around 10 pieces in the capsule and if successful, she hopes to roll it out into additional products in the future.
“We’re motivated to expand,” she said. “And 2018 is when we’ll go bonkers with it.”
The initial launch will be at resort and golf shops including select Four Seasons Resorts; the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla.; the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Fla.; Donna Lewis in Alexandria, Va.; the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach, Fla., and Trump National Doral in Doral, Fla.
Retail price points start at $48 for a basic tank and include $59 for T-shirts, $98 for cowl necks, $68 for shorts, $78 for capris, $88 for long pants and $148 for the Equinox jacket.
Williams said the price points are similar to those in her EleVen collection and all of the Epitome product is made in Los Angeles.
She appears in the marketing materials for the line, but no big promotional campaign is planned for the initial launch. “We see it as an insider secret,” she said.
Williams has been involved in EleVen since 2007. The collection was originally created for Steve & Barry’s, the apparel chain that went into liquidation in 2008. She went on to do a partnership with Ralph Lauren and designed some tennis pieces for Gilt. She has a degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
And while fashion remains a passion, Williams is not giving up on her tennis career just yet. The 36-year-old currently ranks 17th on the WTA’s list of singles players and has won 49 singles and 22 doubles titles over the course of her career.
“I’m off tour now, but in tennis, you never stop,” she said. “We start back up in January so I’ll begin training in about 10 days.”