ATHLETIC PORTRAITS: Serena and Venus Williams are among the standouts who will be honored this fall by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
The tennis legends and entrepreneurs will be among the recipients of the 2022 Portrait of a Nation Awards on Nov. 12. As a curtain raiser to the gala, an exhibition featuring portraits of this year’s seven honorees will be unveiled on Nov. 10 in the Washington, D.C. ,museum and will remain on view through Oct. 22, 2023.
Twenty-three Grand Slam winner Serena Williams will receive her award from Ariel Investments’ Melody Hobson and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will pick hers up from interior designer and V Starr’s Sonya Haffey and Price Consulting Group’s Isha Price.
Outgoing director of the National Institute of Health Anthony Fauci will be honored by The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein and Grammy Award-winning music executive Clive Davis will be honored by 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys.
Other power players include acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who will be touted by Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson. The humanitarian and chef Jose Andres will be presented his award by the Emerson Collective’s Laurene Powell Jobs. And the Children’s Defense Fund’s Marian Wright Edelman will be celebrated by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Vanity Fair is on board as the event’s exclusive media partner and Chevron and General Dynamics are the gala’s lead sponsors this year. Baratunde Thurston has been recruited as the host for the festivities.
November is still a ways away for Serena Williams, who spent Tuesday practicing for what is expected to be her final U.S. Open competition. In advance of that, she debuted an assortment of items emblazoned with “GOAT,” as in the Greatest of All Time, for her S by Serena apparel collection. Williams also made an appearance Tuesday on the first episode of Meghan Markle’s new podcast “Archetypes.”
In the meantime, another high-profile Women’s Tennis Association player, Naomi Osaka, will be headlining an event in New York City on Thursday. This spring the tennis star announced that she was launching a media company in collaboration with LeBron James’ SpringHill. With select leading athletes increasingly controlling their own narratives through business enterprises and media opportunities, Osaka is doing just that with a Mastercard-hosted event with her new company, Hana Kuma. Billed as “Metamorphosis,” the gathering is a reflection of Hana Kuma’s mission and will feature a panel discussion. Osaka will be joined by Alex Scott, KJ Moody and Mack Wilds.
An audience of 75 influencers, brand marketers and content creators are expected at the nonticketed event. The panel discussion is indicative of the “elevated experiences Hana Kuma and Naomi want to create with brand partners,” according to advance material for the media. In addition to Mastercard, the event is being held in partnership with Hypebeast, Hana Kuma’s experiential production partner.