Ser­ena Wil­liams launches pop-up shop dur­ing Art Basel

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LIFE -

MI­AMI BEACH, Fla.: Strong. So­phis­ti­cated. Sexy. Like the ten­nis champ her­self, Ser­ena Wil­liams’ fash­ion line is all about power moves, and she’s hop­ing it will also in­spire woman to find their own voice.

“I want ev­ery­one to be able to do that and to step into their power,” she said Wed­nes­day night at the launch of her first pop-up shop.

Wil­liams launched her shop at the luxe Faena Ho­tel dur­ing Mi­ami’s Art Basel where guests, in­clud­ing fel­low ten­nis star Caroline Woz­ni­acki, drank cock­tails draped with fluffy pink cotton candy and snapped self­ies from a life-size swing cov­ered with botan­i­cals.

Ev­ery­thing in the line, from a black se­quined top with the word “Un­both­ered” to a crisp, white but­ton-down that says “Slay” in red let­ters, is un­der $200.

The 23-time Grand Slam cham­pion not only de­signed all the cloth­ing in the shop, but also painted all the art on the walls, say­ing many of the paint­ings took a month to com­plete be­cause of their in­tri­cate tex­tures.

“I’ve painted for years, prob­a­bly like 10 years now. It’s my out­let,” she said. “I jok­ingly said, ‘I’m go­ing to be at Art Basel one day.’”

It’s been an awe-in­spir­ing year for Wil­liams, who said she was “pinch­ing my­self, like what the heck am I do­ing here,” at the Wim­ble­don fi­nal in July af­ter a dif­fi­cult preg­nancy and child­birth. She said her re­cent ac­com­plish­ments on the court helped her per­se­vere through the chal­lenges of be­ing a first-time mom.

“If I can be in the fi­nal less than a year [af­ter giv­ing birth], I’m OK to han­dle my lit­tle baby who’s start­ing to have tantrums. I’m OK to han­dle this tantrum baby. I can do it. I can do it,” she joked, speak­ing of her 15-month-old daugh­ter.

Last month, GQ mag­a­zine named her its 2018 Woman of the Year, fea­tur­ing an im­age of Wil­liams wear­ing a black body­suit and Chanel belt.

The head­line crossed out “Men” and some fans took of­fense.

But Wil­liams, who has been crit­i­cized for be­ing too mus­cu­lar, too strong and too out­spo­ken through­out her ca­reer, said it was “re­ally cool” and just an­other ex­am­ple of women break­ing down bar­ri­ers.

“This is a strictly men’s thing but they broke and said, ‘Let’s also put a woman on [the cover] be­cause this is a strong woman. She’s just as strong as our men.’”

Art Basel Mi­ami Beach, the pres­ti­gious ex­ten­sion of the an­nual con­tem­po­rary art fair in Basel, Switzer­land, has spawned dozens of other art shows around Mi­ami over the years, along with star-stud­ded par­ties days in ad­vance. Bono, Leonardo DiCaprio and rap­per Cardi B were all spot­ted mak­ing the rounds Wed­nes­day night. –

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