To be the best, you need to look your best — just ask Venus Williams. The 32-year-old tennis star, who has been ranked number one in the world on three separate occasions, gave Haute Living a sneak peak at the Fall 2013 collection of her fashion line EleVen. “This season is all about floral,” Williams told Haute Living yesterday during a preview event in Manhattan. ” My philosophy on ready-to-wear is all about style meeting performance. It’s got all the sweat-whisking properties and UV-ray protection so you can perform without thinking, but also look stylish.”
Describing her designs as “unique and fresh,” Williams’ latest collection features fashion-forward women’s athletic apparel in bold colors and animal skin inspired prints. Though EleVen offers classic workout gear such as sold colored sports bras, leggings and tank-tops, it also includes style-savvy pieces such as A-line racer-back tennis dresses emblazoned with bold floral designs reminiscent of the impressionist period. Haute Living sat down with Williams to discuss her new line, her design inspiration and overcoming her shopping addiction.
Do you think that you perform better on the court when you are dressed stylishly?
“I sure hope so. I hope it led to my best performance ever. More than anything, I felt like myself. EleVen gives you the opportunity to be yourself.”
What inspired the name EleVen?
“It’s about being better than the best — going past a 10. Pushing past limits, not accepting any limitations.”
Do you ever run any of your designs past your sister Serena Williams?
“Yes, definitely in the beginning. When my first collection came out, I was nervous because I wanted to make something that everyone related to and could wear. So when I showed her a dress that I designed and she loved it, I felt really confident.”
Who are some of your favorite fashion designers?
“It always changes. I’m not as loyal as I should be. Right now it’s probably Mara Hoffman.”
What are some of your favorite fashion trends?
“I’m not really a trends person. I was so happy when bright colors were popular because they go well with my skin tone, especially bright yellow. I couldn’t get enough of it! Some of my other favorite trends are florals and dark backgrounds.
What are some of your must-have beauty products:
“My favorite beauty products are by Body Deli. I love their shampoos and conditioners. I try to use all natural products.”
Do you wear make-up during matches?
“I joined the eyeliner club so I wear eyeliner in almost all of my matches. I hardly ever wear eyeliner when I’m at home, but I wear eyeliner almost every day on the road. It makes you look good on the court. My favorite is the waterproof 24-hour formula by Milani.”
What are some of your favorite things to do in New York?
“I’m usually so busy whenever I’m here, so I never have much time to do anything fun. But, I used to shop a lot. It was bad!”
How did you cut back on your spending?
“I stopped shopping for six months and it cured me. It’s hard because once you stop, you see all the stuff that you want but can’t have anymore. After a while, you start to realize that you didn’t need it after all and that you’re fine without it. I shop a little bit now, but I don’t have to try and buy everything. Six months to the cure!”
Check out pictures of the collection below: