Venus Williams Says Tennis-Core Will “Never” Go Out of Style

santa monica, california february 27 venus williams attends the 28th annual screen actors guild awards at barker hangar on february 27, 2022 in santa monica, california photo by axellebauer griffinfilmmagic
Venus Williams Says Tennis-Core Will Always Be HotAxelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
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Venus Williams is here for the tennis-core trend. The seven-time Grand Slam winner, author, entrepreneur, and producer is among a group of powerhouse names fronting Lacoste’s new “PlayBig” campaign, which includes fresh takes on the brand’s classic silhouettes and sees a large sculpture of their signature crocodile—this one crafted from traditional tennis materials—interacting with the real-life icons. The concept is to highlight the unique grandeur of the individuals as a reflection of the force of the crocodile. Apart from Williams, the other icons are fellow tennis legend Novak Djokovic, actors Pierre Niney and Ahn Hyo Seop, singer Jeon Seomi, and artist Wang Yibo.

In the campaign images, Williams wears a Merlot-red tennis look composed of a skintight long-sleeve collared bodysuit and a breezy bomber jacket in the same deep hue. She adds a pop of blood-orange red with her sneakers, with which she steps on the crocodile’s tongue. A fierce take on the red-as-a-neutral aesthetic heating up this season.

Following the campaign shoot, Williams sat down for a chat with Harper’s Bazaar to talk all this tennis-c0re and dish on her favorite closet staples and beauty hacks of the moment.

What do you think of people embracing the hot tennis-core trend as street style these days (much thanks to the Challengers press tour)?

Tennis never goes out of style—it’s always trending! I’ve always loved seeing people embracing tennis-core and incorporating it into everyday style in their own unique way. Tennis has long been at the intersection of sports and fashion, and Lacoste was one of those pioneers who helped elevate sports-chic looks.

(Williams notably showed up to support Challengers—the hot new tennis film starring Zendaya—at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere earlier this month.)

los angeles, california april 16 venus williams attends the premiere of amazon mgm studios' challengers at westwood village theater on april 16, 2024 in los angeles, california photo by monica schippergetty images
Monica Schipper - Getty Images

Off the court, what’s your personal style like?

For me, personal style is all about the mood I’m in! I always strive to be my true authentic self when it comes to fashion. I like to be unique, and I also like to wear things that I feel confident in. Finding the balance between these two is when I feel my best.

What are 3 things in your closet you cannot stop wearing?

I typically change up my style from time to time, depending on how I feel and what I have going on in my life. But some staples in my closet right now are of course my Lacoste blazers—they’re so versatile—and Prada combat boots. I love these because they’re timeless pieces that you can mix-and-match, and dress up or down if you wanted. And I always like to add some perfume to finish a look—I love Dior Ambre Nuit.

new york, new york september 08 venus williams attends the prabal gurung fashion show during new york fashion week september 2023 the shows on september 08, 2023 in new york city photo by dimitrios kambourisgetty images for nyfw the shows
Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images

What 5 things do you keep in your bag at all times?

Five things I always keep in my bag are Happy Viking single servings (preferably my favorite flavor: strawberry) for fuel on the go, a good sunscreen, headphones because I’m usually hopping on work calls for my design companies, V Starr and Palazzo, while I’m out and about, Asutra’s magnesium body butter, and of course my dog, Harry. He is a Havanese and the perfect size to carry around!

london, england july 03 venus williams of united states plays a forehand against elina svitolina of ukraine in the womens singles first round match on day one of the championships wimbledon 2023 at all england lawn tennis and croquet club on july 03, 2023 in london, england photo by shaun botterillgetty images
Shaun Botterill - Getty Images

What is one beauty hack you swear by?

I love beauty and skincare, and my ultimate hack is moisture. Moisturized skin is beautiful skin. I carry around a spritz throughout the day to keep my face, arms, legs etc. moisturized—pretty much anything that’s exposed. I also travel a lot, which can cause dry skin, so I love to bring a face mask and a spritz on the plane for deep moisture to protect against dryness.

How has your style evolved through the years?

My style is always changing and evolving. I don’t like to follow trends, though. I’m always looking for new ways to be creative and express myself, but I tend to prefer timeless, fun pieces over something that’s popular in the moment.

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