Venus Williams has a lot to celebrate -- and the US Open hasn't even started yet!
Ahead of 2019's final grand slam, the 7-time grand slam winner launched her latest EleVen collection launch -- the Phoenix Collection -- and AOL caught up with the all-time great to discuss her latest activewear collection, how she picks out what she wears for the New York-based grand slam and why she can't pinpoint her favorite tennis look she's ever worn.
Check out our Q&A with Venus Williams below:
EleVen describes itself as a fashion-forward activewear brand. What's your approach to striking a balance between making something fashionable while also maintaining its function?
I have always loved fashion and fitness, and each collection is an opportunity for me to meld these two worlds together. As an athlete, I understand the importance that activewear needs to perform no matter the activity our EleVen girl has her sights set on. I started EleVen with the dream of creating a community to help empower women to feel and do their best in clothing that they can move and look great in. I personally test each piece to ensure that these boxes are checked because it is extremely important that we are creating the best!
Talk to me about the inspiration behind the Phoenix collection specifically: What sparked the idea behind the print that we see throughout the different pieces?
The intricate print that is woven throughout the Phoenix collection is inspired by the spirit of the mythological Phoenix bird (which the collection is named after!). I love that the Phoenix represents renewal, as I wanted to design something that celebrated a new season. It was also fitting because I was inspired by the spirit of flight and lightness when you’re moving through the air while attempting an ace or a straight set wins.
What went behind the decision to go with a lighter colorway versus a darker one this time around?
I wanted this collection to give off a sense of lightness because it’s tough letting go of summer – I am a Florida girl after all! – and I am a strong believer that color affects your mood. Whether it’s playing in a tournament or running errands after a workout, I wanted to create a print that would inspire the EleVen girl to know that she can breeze through anything. This print is a seamless one to incorporate into your fitness wardrobe – it pairs with everything!
You're going to be wearing some of these pieces at the US Open. How do you typically approach what you want to wear when playing in New York City? Do you try to reflect that electric energy of inside Arthur Ashe at all?
I like to wait to pick out my outfit until the morning of! I let the energy of the day, and where I am playing, inspire me and help me decide what I will feel and do my best in! I cannot wait to pair the spirit of flight and lightness, of the Phoenix collection, that makes you feel like you are floating with the electric energy of Arthur Ashe and New York City! I have a feeling it’s going to be an epic combination! I love New York and find the vibe of the city exhilarating – I'm very excited to be back!
Do you have a favorite US Open outfit from over the years? Or one that you look back on and might regret?
This is such a hard question because it is impossible to choose just one favorite! Each outfit holds such special place in my heart as they remind me of where I’ve come from and excites me to look forward to where I’m going. I am so excited to sport pieces from the Phoenix collection on the court this year!
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