The triumvirate of Serena Williams, Nike and Virgil Abloh may be a match made in style heaven.
Two of these three entities are well known to tennis audiences: Williams, the 23-time major singles champ and GOAT of the sport, and Nike, one of the premier, enduring global sports brands. Abloh may have recently arrived on the radar of many tennis fans and observers, but his bona fides include being the first African-American designer to helm the heritage house of Louis Vuitton.
“I’m just honored to wear Virgil Abloh, who is probably the hottest designer right now,” Williams said on Monday night after dispatching Magda Linette, 6-4, 6-0. “I’m just the muse I guess.”
With experiences working with Kanye West and Louis Vuitton, not to mention receiving Beyonce's own blessing, Abloh's Off White label became a fixture in the fashion world.
"With Serena, we have one of our generation's most powerful, inspiring athletes as the muse," Abloh said in a statement. "I was trying to embody her spirit and bring something compelling and fresh to tennis."
Among his nods to Williams' personality and passion, Abloh's tutu-esque take on tulle skirting for Williams' US Open look is an allusion to how much she enjoys dancing, and the one-shoulder treatment itself on the dress seems to conjure a figure-skating outfit. (Recall Williams' tweet during the 2018 Winter Olympics that, were she a contender, she would skate in competition to "Let It Go" from Frozen.)
"It's easy to play in," Williams said. "Kind of aerodynamic with the one arm free. It feels really good. Yeah, the tutu is easy to play in because I practiced in it before. That was fun."
The Williams-Abloh mixed-doubles style pairing made the rounds ahead of the season's final major event, with stops at CNBC and more national outlets.
Abloh's single-word stamping appears prominently on his Queen collection for Williams, with the word "LOGO" appearing above Nike's trademark swoosh, as well as the world "SERENA" on her forearm.
Not just their collaboration but also preexisting partnerships and friendships have led the likes of model and tech aficionado Karlie Kloss to come alongside Williams as this rollout continues before a single main-draw ball has been struck in New York.
Williams next faces Carina Witthoeft.
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.
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