The tennis superstar is collaborating with Nike to find a team of emerging New York City designers who will create Williams-inspired apparel and footwear next year.
Starting today, a group of designers from schools, institutions and collectives, including Harlem’s Fashion Row, will be invited to Nike Inc.’s New York headquarters for the day. They will work with Nike’s design team to complete a series of projects that will be vetted by the sporting goods giant’s team. The pool will be narrowed to 10 and those people will be invited to Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., in January to begin a seven-month apprenticeship culminating in the creation of the capsule that will include footwear, apparel and equipment.
“I’m excited for these designers to hone their craft, expand their creativity and ultimately dream big as they build on Nike’s design legacy in creating for one of the greatest athletes of all time,” said John Hoke, chief design officer for Nike. “We know their impact here will be widely felt and look forward to having them as part of our creative community.”
This is a continuation of Nike’s push to open the design process up to more people. In the Los Angeles area, it has Nike x Design, a six-month apprenticeship program for emerging designers in that region.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, hosted her first runway show as an independent designer during New York Fashion Week in September for her fashion brand, S by Serena. She is a Nike-sponsored athlete and has her own sports-skewed line with the athletic company.