Serena Williams named ‘Fashion Icon’

NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams will be honored Monday at a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards ceremony recognizing her career and contribution to American fashion.

Williams, who retired last year, was the first athlete to win the CFDA Fashion Icon Award. In addition to her groundbreaking tennis career, she will be honored for her work as a designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Fashion’s equivalent of the Oscars will be held at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, hosted by Anne Hathaway.

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. Their first daughter, Olympia, was born in 2017.

Williams had been in the fashion news long before she retired. In 2018, she launched a clothing line, “S by Serena,” and in 2019, a jewelry line. In a statement before the gala, designer and current CFDA president Thom Browne called Williams “one of the most inspiring people in the world… who represents greatness at the highest level.” Browne said she is “one of the best” in everything she does. “The ultimate example of individuality” and “a true fashion icon.”

In her own comments, Williams said that since she was a child, “I have used fashion as an outlet to express myself. Fashion gave me the confidence to go on the court and recognize who I am and where I know I’m going.” .”

She added: “My dream of owning my own brand, S by Serena, has come true… I’ve enjoyed learning my own style and letting it change as my life evolves, but I’ve always been consistent. In fact, fashion is for everyone. Individuals regardless of size, race or income.”

The CFDA Awards are presented by Amazon Fashion.

Last year, Kim Kardashian was honored for her shapewear line and took the opportunity to ask designers to include all body types.

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