Serena Williams Dazzles At US Open Opening Night Wearing Nike X Off-White Collaboration Designed By Virgil Abloh

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One of the biggest events of the year in tennis—and in the sporting world as a whole—takes place in Flushing, Queens at the US Open. In past years, one of the greatest athletes of all time, Serena Williams, has dominated at Arthur Ashe Stadium and at several other courts across the globe. In addition to making headlines for her performance, she has also garnered an unmissable and sometimes polarizing presence in the world of athletic fashion.

Photo Credit: Instagram: @nytimes

This year was no exception. At the French Open in May, she wore a black catsuit, reminiscent of a superhero aesthetic. After recently giving birth to her daughter with entrepreneur and co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., the catsuit also aided with  blood circulation—an important feature for the new mom, who has suffered from blood clots and was hospitalized for emergency treatment of a pulmonary embolism in the past. Though quoted as feeling like a “superhero,” “a warrior princess” and “a queen from Wakanda”—referencing the recent smash hit film Black Panther from Marvel Comics—the 36-year-old was banned from wearing the controversial style at Roland Garros again, per French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli. In an interview with Tennis Magazine, Giudicelli said the style “will no longer be accepted,” and that “One must respect the game and the place.” Nike—for whom Williams is a brand ambassador—took to its social media accounts to voice its feelings about the issue, posting a photo of the athlete with the caption, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.” Tennis great Billie Jean King even had something to say about the issue and took to her Twitter account: “The policing of women’s bodies must end. The ‘respect’ that’s needed is for the exceptional talent ⁦@serenawilliams⁩ brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies.”

33Photo Credit: Instagram: @nike

Though the social media noise generally voiced its support of Williams, she laughed off any concern for the issue, stating “Everything is fine, guys,” in a media conference leading up to the US Open. But rest assured, the tennis superstar has never been known to tone it down for the sake of anyone else, both performance wise and style wise. And so, for her 2018 US Open debut, she wore one of her most striking and memorable outfits yet: a $500 black one-sleeved dress with a brown-hued accent and a tulle, ballerina-esque skirt. The style was a collaboration between Nike and Off-White—the hugely popular clothing brand by Virgil Abloh, who was also recently named Men’s Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton. Abloh—who has easily become one of the biggest names in fashion—took to his Instagram account to publicly state that he is “willing to design dresses for her for life.”

Photo Credit: Instagram: @virgilabloh

Mom, designer, one of the greatest athletes of all time, entrepreneur, statement-maker, champion…is there anything that Serena Williams can’t do? We’re not sure. But this incredible ad that Nike released, featuring video clips of Williams training with her father at a very young age, would suggest that no, there is absolutely nothing she cannot do. Oh, and I should mention—she won in straight sets in her opening match, 6-4 6-0.

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