NEW YORK — Fresh off her 18th Grand Slam title at this year’s U.S. Open, Serena Williams presented her Serena Williams Signature Statement Collection on the catwalk Tuesday afternoon.
This story first appeared in the September 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 22-piece fall collection of ponte leggings, quilted vests, draped cardigans and quarter-sleeve maxi blouses was immediately available on HSN.com following the runway show. Prices ranged from $29.90 to $79.90.
The 32-year-old Williams will personally present the collection on HSN on Sept. 16.
“I went to school for fashion design,” said Williams, dressed in a leopard-print jacket and black leather skirt. “For years, I’ve been designing all my tennis clothes. I’ve been doing this particular collection [for HSN] for five years. It isn’t overnight. This is the first time we’re showcasing it in a fashion show.”
Williams said she had a meeting with one of her manufacturers, and they decided they needed to take it to a new level. “We sell out all the time. We need to bring high fashion at great prices to the New York runway fashion shows,” she said.
Despite her busy tennis schedule, Williams said she is involved with every step of the operation. “It’s my heart and soul. Even during the Open, I’m playing and I’m not only designing the clothes, but the hair and the makeup. I didn’t do all the jewelry because I had too many matches to play. I have a wonderful team I’m working with. I even chose the music [for the show]. I want to make sure there’s nothing too superfast but [it has] a little romance and a little life and youngness to it,” she said.
Williams also cast all the models, and decided to have a plus-size model, Denise Bidot, end the show. “A lot of plus-size women are in love with our collection. It’s difficult to find clothes. You don’t have to be a size zero to be the most fabulous person you are. I’m not.…Whether you’re thin as can be or a little thicker like me, it doesn’t matter. It’s about feeling good and looking good,” added Williams.
Separately from HSN, she’s working on a dress and eveningwear collection that will retail from $200 to $500. “I’ve always wanted to do something with wedding gowns, which is my dream,” said Williams, who plans to launch that in two years.
As for audience reaction at the show, Caroline Wozniacki, whom Williams defeated in the U.S. Open finals 6-3, 6-3, offered up her opinion: “I thought it was great.” Asked if she’d like to do her own sportswear line, Wozniacki said, “Maybe someday. We’ll see.”