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Serena Williams Becomes the First Athlete of the CFDA’s Fashion Icon Award

Tiya Antony
Fashion News Editor

The Council of Fashion Designer of America has announced Serena Williams to be the winner of the CFDA Fashion Icon Award, making her the first athlete to receive the prestigious award. The awards ceremony will take place on November 6, 2023 at the American Museum of National History located in New York City, one of the well-known fashion capitals of the world. Previous winners for the Fashion Icon Award are Beyonce, Zendaya, Rhianna, Pharrell Williams, Jennifer Lopez, among others.

Serena Williams at the 2022 U.S. Open (Photo courtesy of WWD)

Serena Williams has reacted to her award by stating “I’ve always held one thing true — fashion is for everyone, no matter your size, race or income. I am incredibly honored to be receiving the prestigious Fashion Icon Award from the CFDA, an organization whose work I have long admired and to stand among style icons I have always looked up to.”

Serena Williams is known as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, holding numerous titles such as 23 Grand Slam women’s singles titles. Williams is not just known for her powerful tennis skills but also her court attire consisting of bright outfits, tutus, and catsuits. The 42-year-old champion stated, “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve used fashion as an outlet to express myself — fashion gave me the confidence to step on the court and own who I was, and where I knew I was going.” Williams finds assurance and self-expression with her fashion style and choices, whether on or off the court.

Her love for fashion was made clear in 2018 when Williams launched her own brand called S by Serena. Williams has stated that it was always her dream to create a brand, where she can collaborate with designers and experiment with different styles. Since the launch, S by Serena has had huge partnerships with Gucci, Nike, Secret, Wilson, Stuart Weitzman, Berlei and more brands. The brand has also extended with an eponymous jewelry line.

Serena Williams at 2021 Australia Open (Photo courtesy of Serena Williams)

However, Williams’ love for fashion started at a young age. It has previously been revealed that she grew up with a love for creating apparel by learning to sew at a young age from her mother. Her mother also used to design some of Williams’ first tennis outfits. This entrepreneur has also studied fashion design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale while creating her tennis legacy. The huge, hard-earned accomplishments do not end here for the tennis star. She has even co-hosted the 2019 Met Gala which is the biggest fashion night that takes place to showcase A-list celebrities and designers. Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm, was created to invest in companies that embrace diverse opportunities and leaderships. Williams is actively involved in philanthropy with commitment to donations as well as creating campaigns and partnerships to help the community.

Thom Browne, the Chairman of CFDA, states “Serena is one of the most inspiring people in the world…icon of the sports world…ultimate example of individuality in everything she does.” Serena Williams is definitely an inspiring figure in the sports world and otherwise with ventures into fashion and business. Williams is committed to being a positive fashion influence and her brand is focused on embracing strength and beauty in every individual. Serena Williams is one of the most influential women in recent times with her tennis legacy and fashion works that are focused on broadening the realms of beauty and embracing the power of women.


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