Virgil, Serena… What a powerful matchup!
For her return to the U.S. Open later this month, Serena Williams’ Nike uniforms will be designed by none other than Virgil Abloh. The 23-time grand Slam Champ is known hugely for her on-the-court trends, but this new style will have all trendsetters rocking it in the streets. From head to toe, Serena will be seen wearing the Abloh and Nike production throughout this year’s competition. The collection includes tennis dresses, a jacket and a pair of customized NikeCourt Flare sneakers. Of course, Abloh’s riff will be stamped all over this ensemble.
The GOAT tennis athlete, who will debut the designs at the U.S. Open’s 50th edition tournament in New York at the end of August, is just one of many powerful women choosing a leading black figure in fashion to be a part of their artistic worlds. Beyonce recently handpicked her photographer, Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover.
Can you imagine the conversations between Williams and Abloh about this collection? Well, you don’t have to. The creative process between Virgil and Nike was creative and very much 50/50. NikeCourt and the team met in Paris (my goodness!) to discuss a body form specific to Williams’s figure and sent to his atelier in Italy to sort out ideas for materials, such as tulle and supportive mesh.
In an email to Vogue, Abloh describes his inspiration behind the collection and the process of collaborating with Williams:
“When I was thinking about outfits for Serena, I was thinking about her playing the game and her aesthetic while she is. Also about the confidence that’s needed while playing at the top level of tennis. This is very far from a design-by-numbers project. As you can tell by her personality in her play, she’s very much involved in her aesthetic. She has a level of creativity with how she expresses herself in terms of clothing in any event, so I made everything with her logic in mind. We traded images and there was a lot of back-and-forth to get this done in short order.”
As Williams told Vogue:
“When I first tried on the dress, I felt very strong and feminine at the same time. It has all the really strong elements, from the leather to that really cool stretchy material,” said Williams. “I felt so feminine in the tutu, which is probably my favorite part of it. It really embodies what I always say: that you can be strong and beautiful at the same time.”
About the “QUEEN” Collection:
Highlighted by day and night versions of the Nike x Virgil Abloh for Serena Williams “Queen” NikeCourt Flare 2 PE, a new The Ten: Blazer and a new The Ten: Air Max 97, the footwear set is inspired by Abloh’s subversive take on the style of tennis itself. The collection celebrates future-forward design, championing ambitious products that harness Nike’s unwavering commitment to redefining performance and style.
But the best news for Williams’ fashion-loving fans? A limited edition of the “Queen” collection—including two Nike The Ten sneakers—will be available at select Nike locations in the United States in late August.