featuring the good, the bad, and the ugly, “Look of the Week” is a regular series dedicated to unpacking the most talked about outfits of the past seven days.
Inspired by figure skating costumes, Nike’s custom-made look for Williams featured a delicate six-layer tutu in honor of her six U.S. Open victories. It included a detachable black and gold glittery train, diamond-encrusted NikeCourt sneakers, a bejeweled headband, and a galaxy of gemstones engraved in her hair. The laces also received royal treatment with a set of personalized gold duvre lace locks adorned with 400 hand-set diamonds from the tennis pro’s jewelry brand, Serena Williams Jewelry.
Serena Williams reacts after winning the first set against Danka Kovinic in the first round match of the 2022 US Open in New York on August 29. credit: Albero/Getty Images
This isn’t the first time Williams has demonstrated her powers of fashion communication. She has often used sportswear to challenge industry expectations and champion black athleticism. At the Australian Open in February 2021, the tennis star will wear her ’80s-inspired asymmetrical unitard to set a record-breaking American track for another named her star, Florence Griffith, her Joiner. We paid tribute to celebrities. Tennis has long been associated with all-white ensembles, but Williams, like when she played at the 2004 US Open in denim Nikes, her tennis skirt and studded black vest top. , often flipping her scripts.
In the summer of 2018, the French Tennis Federation banned catsuits after Williams wore them in matches. Her suit’s compression material was designed to minimize the blood clots Williams had struggled with since giving birth the year before.
In the late 1990s, Serena and Venus Williams made headlines with their matching beaded hairstyles. While decorated cornrows were often challenged by rulemakers, the beads (pictured at the 1998 Roland Garros French Open) sent an important message to black women everywhere. credit: Frank Seguin/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images
In 1997, at their first U.S. Open, Williams and her sister Venus both had their hair tied up in cornrows and braids layered with white beads. (During Monday night’s U.S. Open game, Williams’ daughter Olympia was seen in the crowd wearing a set of white beaded braids, a moving tribute to tennis. At the 1999 Australian Open, Williams lost Bead and one point in the throes of an electric game against Lindsay Davenport. He was reprimanded by the referee for causing “disturbance”.
Williams’ crystal-encrusted bodice and layered tutu skirt are inspired by figure skating costumes. credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
The tennis champion is well versed in fearless fashion off the court. At the 2011 Met He Gala, Williams appeared in an elegant floor-length feather gown and fascinator by Oscar de la Renta. Eight years later, as co-host of the gala alongside Harry Styles and Lady Gaga, Williams put her own stamp on evening elegance. In the look, she stepped out onto the red carpet—instead of high heels, she wore off-white Nike sneakers in neon yellow and a matching Versace dress. And for 2021, she stepped out in an equally spotlight Gucci look that featured a form-fitting embroidered silver bodysuit and a massive feathered cape.
Earlier this year, she walked the runway at Paris Fashion Week, modeling looks for Off-White’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection.
S by Serena is her apparel line launched in 2018, designed specifically with the ‘strong’ woman in mind, and ‘not afraid to step up and make a statement, fashion or otherwise. I use the tagline “Don’t do it”.
The Nike Swoosh logo on Williams’ custom-made sneakers is encrusted with diamonds. credit: Nike