Serena Williams explains why Meghan Markle is her inspiration for clothing design


Tennis star Serena Williams launched her eponymous self-funded fashion line last year and since then the brand has been gaining traction. The line is not athleisure – we’ll see why later – but rather focuses on high basics with the tagline “strong, sexy and sophisticated clothing from Serena Williams”.

Some pieces are purely fun (sequined pencil skirt) while others are wardrobe staples (button down shirts and tank tops). Read on to learn more about the Williams brand and how she continues to use her friend, Meghan Markle, for inspiration.

Fashion school

In her spare time as a young tennis player, Williams attended fashion school. She attended the Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she studied fashion from 2000 to 2003, according to Business of Fashion.

“I was great at creating patterns,” Williams told the post. “I think it’s because I love the math and I love the technical part.”

Williams’ failed fashion line

Fresh out of fashion school, Williams launched her own line of evening wear, but it wasn’t as successful for her as tennis.

“Finally, I became a realist. I can’t do formal wear, so let me think of different things I can do, ”Williams said. “And that’s when I started to wear sportswear, more everyday clothes. And then I ended up getting attached to HSN, which was really good.

The “HSN” that Williams refers to is the Home Shopping Network. She partnered with HSN to create Serena Signature Statement in 2014. But it didn’t take long for Williams to want to branch out.

Serena Williams | Mike Smith / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“I learned a lot, but I felt like there was so much more I wanted to do in a different demo, a larger demo that I wanted to achieve,” Williams told Business of Fashion. “From a design perspective, there was only a limited number of fabrics you could use. It just wasn’t me. Even though we pushed for a label at HSN, that still wasn’t what I wanted to do.

And while Williams is a successful tennis player, she is no stranger to failure.

“I’ve been trying for years and years to do something in fashion. I’ve been doing this for so long and it never touched, ”she said.

She currently has a contract with Nike that prohibits her from designing “sportswear or sportswear,” but that is no setback for Williams. “Right now I think the market could be really saturated with athleisure,” she told Business of Fashion.

Clothes “worthy of a royal princess”

In an interview she gave to the publication, Williams said she was using her friend, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, as inspiration for her line.

“It’s so much fun because people say, ‘Oh my God. Like wow, the quality is insane, ”she said. “Listen, if we give our stuff to Meghan, it has to be of the highest quality we can get. So that’s what I say to our in-house team: “We have to make sure it’s of the very high quality which, you know, is fit for a princess royal!”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Australia

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle in Dubbo, Australia. | Samir Hussein / Samir Hussein / WireImage)

Markle wore her friend’s “Boss Blazer” on a royal tour of Australia with Prince Harry last year. The blazer is now sold out, but it became a top-selling item after Markle wore it.

How did Serena Williams and Meghan Markle meet?

The tennis star met Meghan Markle in 2014 at DirectTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl where they both played on the same flag football team.

Meghan Markle, Serena Williams and Hannah Davis at the DirecTV Beach Bowl

Meghan Markle, Serena Williams and Hannah Davis attend the DirecTV Beach Bowl on February 1, 2014 in New York City. | Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for DirecTV

“We hit it off right away, taking pictures, laughing during the flag football match we were both playing and discussing not tennis or acting, but all the good girl stuff at the club. old, ”Markle wrote on her now-defunct lifestyle blog. , The Tiger.

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