?Tennis champ Venus Williams has won 21 Grand Slams and earned three Olympic gold medals since turning pro at age 14 alongside sister Serena. But the South Florida resident also has a passion for fashion, and she’s combined her love for both with the recent relaunch of her clothing line, EleVen (elevenbyvenus.com), which she founded in 2007. The active lifestyle brand features men’s and women’s apparel, all designed by Williams, that can be seamlessly worn on and off the court. Williams graduated cum laude with a degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and now studies business management at Indiana University East.
How would you describe your fashion sense, and how does your line reflect it?
I would say that I love classic designs, but I also like to have fun and mix it up. I show that in EleVen with classic cuts, but some fun prints, and unexpected design elements.
What inspired your designs for EleVen?
My designs were inspired by classic tennis wear with my own twist, using current fashion trends such as prints, color blocking and rose gold charms. The fabrics are amazing and so comfortable, which is really important to me when playing my matches.
How did you approach designing menswear? Did you find it challenging?
My approach to designing menswear is just how I would want my ideal guy to dress. Clean, with attention to the details, and classic.
What’s your most recent coveted purchase?
A Stephen Webster necklace. It is a long chain with a spider on the end made up of a black opal with diamonds around it and on the legs of the spider. It is so different.
What other life goals would you like to achieve?
I want to win more Olympic gold medals!
*Photo by Carlo Della Chiesa