Tennis

Tennis Star Serena Williams Sews Like a Pro

Top athletes are generally the sorts of people who can’t stick to being good at just one thing. Athletes with a multi-sport background are the rule for the NFL, for example. Track & field is almost a requirement extracurricular activity for NFL hopefuls. Superstars like Michael Jordan and Patrick Mahomes cut their teeth in baseball alongside their primary sport.

Tennis star Serena Williams is no exception in terms of having multiple top-flight talents. Her brilliant career in tennis, so notably physical, contrasts with her other lifelong passion, though. Instead, her off-the-court focus is squarely on a field more noted for aesthetics.

Serena Williams’ incredible accomplishments on the tennis court

Williams is one of the greatest, most accomplished tennis players of all time. She racked up at least one Grand Slam singles title in 10 out of the last 11 years.

Her total, 23, is just one short of Margaret Court. Her career took a different curve, though. While Court’s run was heavily slanted toward her younger days, Williams kept getting better. 

She became a global threat at 25, and has yet to lose her status as the singles player that sets the standard for everyone else. While Naomi Osaka is the probably face of the future of tennis, Williams remains the present.

She has fallen in rank before, so her current place at 11th overall hasn’t quite had the effect it would for most other players. Until she walks away from the game, a win over Williams will hold great meaning for any young tennis player.

Just as likely to become a fashionista as she was a tennis player

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Serena Williams, so noted for her imposing physical presence, has off-the-court interests that couldn’t be further from her tennis presence. According to The Delite, Williams’ mother started teaching her to sew when she was still a toddler. She took that mentorship seriously, and developed beyond the simple mending her mother intended to teach her.

She began designing and sewing her own clothes from raw materials. Williams took her sewing hobby — and eventually fashion in general — as seriously as her rapidly developing tennis career.

Business of Fashion reports that she even went to fashion school in the early 2000s, intending to have a viable out in case her tennis career fizzled out. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but in case her career was cut short by an injury, she always had that plan ready to go.

Serena Williams’ fashion background could be her post-retirement second act

Serena Williams smiles for a picture
Tennis star Serena Williams | Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Williams’ pregnancy freed up time for her to invest in her other passion. Rather than sewing at home, or filling sketchbooks with idle ideas, she went all-in on formalizing her work from a business perspective.

Vogue reports that Williams participated in New York Fashion week. It was the biggest moment for the project that will likely define the second act of her public life.

Williams has her own fashion line, which she is very hands-on with when tennis doesn’t eat up most of her time. Her latest line debuted in an intimate setting, with breakfast provided.

The centerpiece was a conversation between her and the fashion journalism icon Anna Wintour. Their casual chat was mainly about Williams’ fashion bona fides, as well as her motivations for each new design.

Compared to her previous showings, draped in the usual splashy celebrity introductions and blaring music, her 2000 presentation was striking. This wasn’t Williams trying to prove herself to the world with a loud runway show, packed with celebrity guests. Instead, she steered the focus toward her passion for her work.