TENNIS – US OPEN – FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK, USA – Serena Williams of USA before her third round match against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia on September 2, 2022 REUTERS/Mike Segar

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – From glossy magazine covers to generation-defining on-court style, Serena Williams will bow at the US Open Friday and play fashion for female athletes as she builds her own empire. I rewrote the book.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner hits the court at this week’s US Open in her stunning Nike sneakers after announcing that she’s “evolving away from tennis,” choosing women’s fashion bible, Vogue. Standing in. Lady, Anna Wintour.

The fiercely competitive queen of Queens of Queens delivered a gritty performance in what is widely expected to be her final tournament, going 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-1 in the third round. Lost to Ajla Tomljanovic. in place.

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“Style and sport have always been closely intertwined, but no athlete has embraced the power of fashion quite like Serena Williams,” Footwear News executive editor Katie Abel told Reuters.

“She never shirks boundaries-breaking looks, on or off the court, and always knows how to send a message, even if it’s controversial.”

She competed at Flushing Meadows in a denim skirt in 2004 and ruffled feathers at the French Open in 2018.

Williams supporters yelled fouls after organizers announced a ban on wearing catsuits on clay courts. Williams quipped to the Associated Press: “When it comes to fashion, I don’t want to be a repeat offender.

Katie Rebel, a researcher of gender equality in sport and an assistant professor at the University of Guelph, said the moment quickly became a staple, showing that fashion can be used to disrupt the status quo.

“Sexism is pretty prevalent when it comes to women’s attire … Expectations about what female athletes should look like are especially steeped in it,” she said.

“When Serena came in, she was against all of this. I think she really reimagined the uniform standard for women in tennis.”

When Selena and sister Venus first hit the court professionally in the 1990s, when they faced criticism for wearing beaded braids in competition, they brought black style to the overwhelmingly white sport.

Williams wore this style when she won her first Grand Slam in New York. A photo of his daughter Olympia in the same braids on his Meadows stand in Flushing this year became an instant sensation.

“From the moment Serena and her sister Venus stepped onto the court in their familiar braids … they have become role models for black women and aspiring female athletes everywhere,” Abel said. .

“Glam Slam”

Williams’ friendship with the late Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh led to one of her most memorable U.S. Open ensembles, the 2018 ballerina-inspired Nike kit. rice field. Last.

Her run at the U.S. Open is over, but her work in New York is just beginning, with a ‘Glam Slam’ preview of new looks for the S by Serena brand scheduled for New York Fashion Week on September 12th. ing.

Also, her retirement from competitive sports is expected to have little to no impact on her brand value, and Nike plans to continue its partnership with the 40-year-old.read more

“Williams may be retiring from tennis, but I think her influence on fashion is just beginning. Without her demanding training schedule, she would have more time and energy to focus on this category. I think I would have had it,” said W Magazine, fashion director Nora Milch.

A bona fide fashion mogul, Serena was appointed to the board of shopping app Poshmark in 2019 to offer her own closet alongside Olympia pieces to fashion market customers.

Poshmark founder and CEO Manish Chandra said Williams inspired several other female entrepreneurs to sell on the app because of her unique voice and perspective.

“As an advocate for women’s empowerment, Selina will always lead with love and help ensure the Poshmark community is at the forefront and center of all we do,” Chandra told Reuters. rice field.

“Her achievements and vision in the world of business, fashion and entrepreneurship have made her a perfect fit on our board…she leads with humility, kindness and integrity.” .”

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Reported by Amy Tennery, New York and Dhruv Munjal, Bangalore. Additional reporting by Rory Carroll, New York.Edited by William Mallard

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