Williams is resplendent from beginning to end in the story, The Future of Serena Williams—from rocking face paint by artist Laolu on the cover, to dazzling fans in designers such as Carolina Herrera, Giuseppe Zanotti, Talbot Runhof, Issey Miyake and more in a gorgeous photo spread shot by photographer Kwaku Alston and styled by ESSENCE Fashion Director Marielle Bobo.
“We are beyond ecstatic to have Serena Williams—one of the most photographed women on the planet— to be the muse for our September Global Fashion issue,“ said ESSENCE Chief Content & Creative Officer MoAna Luu. “This issue promises to be one of ESSENCE’s biggest with a fresh new redesign. We also brought the best Black creatives in the world—including visual artist Láolú, who gave us Serena’s stunning face painting for the cover—to present all of the stunning visuals that you see.”
The multi-hyphenate wife/mom/entrepreneur also opens up to ESSENCE Entertainment Director Cori Murray about everything from her upcoming S By Serena New York Fashion Week moment, what she looks for in fashion, the importance of speaking up and freedom. (See quotes below):
- ON WHAT SHE LOOKS FOR IN FASHION: “Wow. I love fashion, It has to connect to me, first of all. I like things that are unusual, but also a little classic. It depends: It could be a crazy pop of color, and it’ll totally get me excited. Or it could be something fresh I haven’t seen before. Honestly, I can go in any direction. Just depends on how I feel…”
- ON HER “S BY SERENA” NYFW MOMENT: “Everything that’s on the runway will be ready for sale for 24 hours on September 10th. As far as the clothing, we really wanted to have fun and be It’s kind of like all the aspects of my life. But not just my life, most women’s lives. We have a job, or we have somewhere to go for an event, or we have something more serious that we wanted to dress down for, or we might want to go out with our friends and relax, or we may just be walking around the house as a mom. So when we were designing the collection, we wanted to speak to every aspect of that woman…”
- ON BODY POSITIVITY IN FASHION: We want to be We have an extended size, and we call it great because I don’t like the word “plus.” So we call it S Great because every woman is great. Hopefully the word “great” will catch on and people will get rid of the word “plus.”
- ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SPEAKING UP AND FREEDOM: Freedom means standing up and not being afraid to say, ‘I’m here’ or ‘Hear my voice’ or ‘This isn’t what I agreed to’ or ‘This isn’t fair and that isn’t ’ I’ve done it my whole career. It’s knowing where I’ve come from, knowing my history, in particular, the sport that I’m in. When I first started, there weren’t a lot of people who looked like me. So it was really important to always help other people feel as if this is something they could also be a part of…”
The groundbreaking September issue of ESSENCE hits newsstands on August 16th.