BY CORI MURRAY, ESSENCE MAGAZINE

SHE’S ONE OF THE BEST ATHLETES OF ALL TIME, AND HER PLACE IN HISTORY HAS BEEN CEMENTED. WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE WIFE, MOM, ENTREPRENEUR, ACTIVIST AND FASHION DESIGNER? EVERYTHING.

With one hand on her hip and the other cradling her chin, Serena Williams, dressed in a nondescript white tee and black leggings, has come in from the humidity and is standing in a photo studio near her south Florida home.

She’s surveying a rack of black-and-white statement pieces from Tom Ford to Caroline Herrera for her ESSENCE cover shoot. Like her 122 mph serves, her eyes dart back and forth from one design to another. “Ohhh, who’s that by?” asks Williams, and then without missing a beat: “Do you have anything from our collection?” She offers a slight smile, buoyed by the self-assurance that has won her 23 Grand Slam titles (her goal is 25). She’s clearly happy knowing her designs stack up against some of the biggest fashion houses in the world, not only in style but in purpose.

After investing in start-up companies for five years through Serena Ventures, the tennis champion decided she’d invest in her passion for fashion, design and empowering women by launching an independent ready-to-wear line, S by Serena. She explains that her clothes “represent women everywhere—indomitable mothers, daughters and sisters; resilient businesswomen and entrepreneurs; outsiders and underdogs; little girls with crazy dreams and unflinching women of color.”

On September 10, Williams’s New York Fashion Week presentation will culminate in a 24-hour shopping party. In the midst of planning her show, the wife and mom spoke with ESSENCE to talk about how she defines style, what she looks for in a good investment and why she’ll always speak up for herself and others.

Read full interview here: https://www.essence.com/feature/serena-williams-essence-magazine-cover-story-september-2019/

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