Venus Williams infuses signature style into clothing line EleVen
Washington, June 25 (ANI): Venus Williams, for whom fashion is "pride and joy" like tennis, has designed a clothing line, EleVen, to be worn on and off the court.
The 32-year-old tennis player's new "tennis lifestyle brand", is named EleVen.
Williams is the winner of 21 Grand Slam titles and three Olympic gold medals and has been ranked No. 1 in the world several times since she entered pro tennis in 1994 at age 14.
This summer, she's headed back to the Olympics in London, where no doubt her outfits, as well as her game, will make headlines.
Black crinoline skirts, corset lacing and puffy sleeves have characterized some of Williams' memorable fashion moments on the court. But her designs for EleVen are more understated.
"I had a lot of fun doing designs on the court which were unprecedented for sports," LA Times quoted Williams as saying.
"But I wanted to do something that will be available to everyone that's my vision of sportswear," she said.
She earned a degree in fashion design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 2007, and she first launched EleVen for the apparel chain Steve and Barry's, which went into bankruptcy in 2008. She went on to design some tennis pieces for Ralph Lauren and Gilt.com.
Williams, who has homes in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Los Angeles, is producing the line with an L.A.-based design team and manufacturing partner.
She sketches her designs and transfers them onto a computer so they can be interpreted by the design team. After the samples are made, she tries on every piece.
EleVen should fit right into the growing fashion fitness category, sitting alongside such lines as Lululemon and Stella McCartney for Adidas.
"My inspiration isn't from sports; it's more from ready-to-wear," Williams said.
Indeed, she's been known to take in a fashion show or two and calls Vogue magazine editor at large Andre Leon Talley a mentor. Her website features a trends section that notes what's happening on the runway and how it relates to her designs. She name-checks Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs and Derek Lam.
With Wimbledon, the Olympics and theU.S. Opencoming up, this summer is the perfect time to relaunch her brand, she said. The collection is available now at ElevenbyVenus.com and in pro shops.
Some pieces incorporate handwritten inspirational messages from Williams, such as "Oh and Oh", "Beat 'Em" and "Bring It".
"It's lifestyle pieces you can mix and match.
"The 'Oh and Oh' shirt, I wear with a black blazer and heels and jeans. 'Oh and Oh' is a tennis term.... It's a nice way of saying you took your opponent to pieces," she added. (ANI)
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