Serena Williams honored by Designers Council

Tennis legend Serena Williams told an audience of celebrities and designers that as she grew up in the public eye, fashion became her favorite form of expression and the tennis court was her fashion show.

“As a child, I knew I was different, so I explored fashion and style as a way to differentiate myself,” Williams said Monday night while accepting the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). “in English). “For me, in a lot of ways, the tennis court became my runway and the U.S. Open was my own New York Fashion Week.” She said reimagining traditional tennis clothing became an expression of “my personality and confidence. , and most importantly, my culture” in a way.

Williams, who retired from tennis last year, was the first athlete to win the Fashion Icon Award, which was awarded to last year’s CFDA winner Kim Kardashian. Kardashian called Williams “fearless, heroic, authentic, iconic, the greatest of all time.”

The CFDA Awards, fashion’s equivalent of Oscar night, are held at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, with Anne Hathaway as emcee. In the Best Designer Awards, Catherine Holstein of the Khaite brand was named Womenswear Designer of the Year, while Willy Chavarría won the Menswear Award. The Best Accessories Award went to Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen of The Row.

Other honors included: Gwyneth Paltrow accepted the Innovation Award from Demi Moore for her 15-year-old lifestyle brand goop. Vanessa Hudgens paid tribute to Vera Wang by the CFDA Board of Directors for her impact on the wedding industry. Designer María Cornejo received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Laura Linney.

There is also a tribute to hip-hop’s 50th anniversary with a short film from director Hype Williams, presented by Mary J. Blige and with music by Pharrell.

When Williams, 42, retired from tennis, she said she needed to make the difficult decision to focus on motherhood. She gave birth to a daughter in August, almost exactly a year after she last competed as a tennis star. Adira River Ohanian is the second daughter of Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The first one, Olympia, was born in 2017.

In his speech, he spoke fondly of how he learned to express his creativity on the court. “I styled a denim skirt and wore a purple tutu and leotards,” she said, “and I also put beads in my hair and braids. “It was a really fun moment for me. “

Williams studied fashion during her tennis career and launched her clothing line, “S by Serena,” in 2018, which she said in a speech aims to “inspire women to embrace their bodies and love who they are, no matter what.” “Variety. or income. “

Among his many thanks, he left the last one to his mother, “because she made my first tennis outfit when I was young.” He said, watching her sew, “on me That created this creativity that I still have to this day. ”

The CFDA Awards are presented by Amazon Fashion. Among other honors, Alina Cho received the Media Award, Domenico De Sole received the Founder’s Award, Mara Hoffman received the Sustainability Award and JW Anderson and Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson received the International Award.

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