Serena Williams Is a Vision in Custom Brandon Blackwood at the NAACP Image Awards
Serena Williams wore a gown fit for a superstar at this year's NAACP Image Awards.
The tennis legend and entrepreneur is receiving the NAACP's Jackie Robinson Sports Award at tonight's ceremony, as the organization honors her achievements in sports, business, and philanthropy. For the ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles, Williams and her stylist Kesha McLeod evoked the athlete's legacy with a custom velvet gown created by Brandon Blackwood.
"We really wanted Serena to feel sexy, confident, and just like powerful," Blackwood tells BAZAAR.com. "She's the world's greatest athlete and she deserves a dress that compliments that. She's a powerhouse in herself and we just wanted to do something that was equally powerful."
The silk velvet gown features a deep V neckline, paired with a sheer silk corset foundation designed to create a peek-a-boo in the front that contrasts against the luxe velvet texture. The piece also has a draped asymmetric waistline along with a high slit, silk charmeuse lining, fitted sleeves, and a flowing circular train for extra drama.
Ece Ercanli, Lead Apparel Designer of Brandon Blackwood NYC, also flew out to LA to ensure the dress looked perfect for Williams, per the brand.
The sports legend finished the look with black jewel-adorned pumps and an array of diamond jewelry including a thin tie necklace and statement pendant earrings. She wore her hair in a curly blowout and completed her glam look with a fun pink lip.
She previously spoke to BAZAAR.com about her post-retirement plans, as she shifts her focus from tennis to the business side of her career, including her fashion brand S by Serena, lifestyle collection Will Perform, fine jewelry line Serena Williams Jewelry, and capitalist firm Serena Ventures.
"All I have done is work for literally my whole life, and I just started exploring this freedom," she said. "When people retire from tennis, everyone always says they’re free. So I guess I’m free now."
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