Serena Williams on Why She Designs for Women Who Want to "Be Seen and Be Heard"

I'm on the phone with Serena Williams three days before her opening round at this year's U.S. Open in New York City. She's talking about the kind of woman her new clothing brand, Serena, is designed for—but she may as well be talking about herself. "Our customer is someone who believes in themselves and who is unapologetically into fashion; they're not afraid to make a statement, be bold, and they're not afraid to be seen and be heard," Williams told Who What Wear. After all, you don't win a staggering 23 Grand Slams without a hefty dose of belief in yourself—and you don't step onto the court wearing everything from a catsuit to a tutu without wanting to be seen.

Not all of her customers are going to wake up with the same self-assuredness of a tennis icon, but her effortlessly cool clothes can help. "We make designs for women who are feeling confident or who aren't necessarily feeling confident that day but want to, so they wear our clothes," Williams told me. 

First launched at the end of May, the Serena brand consists of a mix of on-trend pieces (bike shorts and acid-wash jeans) and timeless staples (T-shirts and pencil skirts). Naturally, this blend is a reflection of Williams's own personal style. "I definitely enjoy keeping up with trends, but with a classic twist," she told Who What Wear. This past weekend, the brand dropped new denim styles and also celebrated its first pop-up shop at Tictail in New York City, where Williams is currently chasing her seventh U.S. Open trophy. 

Read on for everything I gleaned from my interview Williams, including the one item that was inspired by her friend Meghan Markle, the piece every NYC girl should own, and more. 

Opening Image: Getty Images