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It doesn’t get any more iconic than Serena Williams showing up at her latest US Open in a black, crystal-encrusted custom Nike ensemble.
Last night, the professional tennis player, who announced her retirement from the sport earlier this month, played the first game of her latest tournament in New York City, winning against Danika Kovinic of Montenegro.
In front of a crowd of fans, friends and family, Williams walked in with a short black bejeweled sports jacket overlaid with a matching black tennis dress with sheer sleeves and a detachable black and gold glitter train. She paired the look with a dazzling headband, also designed by Nike, and black PE NikeCourt Flare 2 sneakers embellished with diamond-encrusted Swoosh laces and a diamond Deubré lace tag from her jewelry brand Serena Williams (solid gold , 400 2.0-carat diamonds, and black ceramic, and that explains the words QUEEN And MOM).
Nike, as it has done for many years, has long collaborated with Williams on the look.
“Working with Serena is an honor, it’s a blast and it’s an adventure,” says Carly Ellis, Nike lead apparel designer. BAZAAR.com exclusively. “Serena expects nothing less than pushing the boundaries and to quote her, ‘Every time I see a Nike design, I expect it to be better than the last.’ This expectation not only gives us permission for maximum creative freedom, it has made me a better designer. “
The dress worn by Williams, which features a crystal-encrusted bodice with a V-cut where it meets the six-layered skirt, was inspired by figure skating clothing. The six levels are a reference to Williams’ six Flushing titles. The jewels on the bodice, on the other hand, should represent the night sky of the US Open.
“For the first time, Serena has prepared a brief for me, in addition to the sketches,” says Ellis. “She loves the grace, strength and sheer skill of the ice dancers and was truly inspired by the embellishments their costumes are famous for. So, we worked on different designs, combining her ideas; experimenting and coming up with. I knew she had to. be perfect. After composing her dress, we obviously wanted to create some surprises for the queen, which came in the form of a train decorated with crystals and a dazzled jacket. “
Ellis says the look entirely embodies Williams, as it mirrors her bravery, uniqueness, and bold beauty, and yes, it’s a lot extra too, in the best of ways.
“Serena is the greatest. She is known for redefining the traditionally more stuffy and boring world of tennis, both in terms of what’s possible and what she calls “traditional tennis clothing”. She wanted this dress for the US Open to be unforgettable, but she wanted a different kind of break, “Ellis added.” Her key word was ‘iconic’. No matter what Serena played last night, she would make it iconic. Her moment would have made it historic. “
As Williams entered court last night, witnesses remained in the stands to give her a standing ovation. When it was time for her to play, she took off her jacket and train, then she took out her tennis racket.
To wrap up the match, the US Open shared a Williams tribute in the form of a video featuring speeches by Oprah Winfrey and tennis champion Billie Jean King, as well as a fan-staged “We love Serena ❤️” acrobatic poster. in the stands.
Husband, Alexis Ohanian, and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. joined in the cheers from the stands, the four-year-old is adorable in a mini version of her mother’s sparkly tennis dress and tiny white beads that finish her braiding.
Ellis says: “There are no words that can sum up the pressure and responsibility that comes with designing a piece of history, for the greatest of all time. But every moment I have devoted to it, even in moments of pressure and troubleshooting, it’s a delight to savor for the rest of my life. “
Williams revealed the news of her retirement from tennis in a thrilling essay published in Rowing this month, where he wrote candidly about where he is in his life and the balance he performs every day, striving to be both the world famous athlete who is on the tennis court and the mother and wife whose her family needs her to be.
She said that while it wasn’t an easy choice to make, she is ready for the next stage and is looking forward to expanding her family.
“But I’m not looking for a ceremonial and final moment on the field,” he wrote. “I am terrible at goodbyes, the worst in the world. But please know that I am more grateful to you than I can ever put into words. You have led me to so many wins and so many trophies. I will miss version of me, that girl who played. to tennis. And I will miss you. “
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