10 minutes with Serena Williams

ELLE talks fashion with tennis pro


Whether on court or front row, Serena Williams is a dedicated follower of fashion.

And she’s convinced that what she’s wearing gives her a psychological boost when she’s playing. ‘It’s really important for my outfits to be really comfortable, but at the same time look really fashion-forward and really classic,' she told us.

Saying that, her favourite tennis look from the ages was influenced by the 80s style of Andre Agassi: ‘I wore a jean skirt once, influenced by Andre Agassi. I don’t know whether it was the 80s or the early 90s, but he wore these jean shorts and it was so cool. So I took that as inspiration and said, ‘let’s do this skirt!’’


The 80s have a fan in Serena: her old workout playlist was jammed with disco tunes by Irene Cara and duo Hall & Oates. But she’s joining the 21st century with a new playlist.

‘I’m now working on a modern hip-hop version so I’ve got some 2Chainz and some Wiz Khalifa,' she explained. 'I’m trying to become a bit more modern, to get out of the 80s!’

When not training (or channeling the 80s), she’s looking forward to going shopping: her favourite London retail haunts include Harrods and River Island.


And, since she’s a big fan of Rihanna, she admits to being 'so excited' when it was announced that the ELLE cover star had created a collection for the high street brand.

For Williams, summer is all about tennis, but when she finally gets a break from serving aces, she’ll be heading home to hang out with dogs Jackie, Lorelei and Chip.

‘We hang out all day. Chip loves to play fetch. I love Chip so much. The older ones don’t think that they’re dogs, so they just hang around.’

Serena actually arrived in London earlier this week to see some of the men’s shows – she was spotted at Burberry and says she’s a huge admirer of Christopher Bailey. ‘I think he’s a wonderful, wonderful designer and I think Burberry’s come such a long way,' she said. 'It’s just fabulous.’

She thinks the London Collections: Men has a lot of potential to ‘grow worldwide’ – mainly because like us, she was coveting the men’s separates. ‘I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing!’ she laughs.

When not scouting for androgynous basics, Serena likes ‘a lot of French designers. I like Azzedine Alaïa: I love the fabrics he uses, I love the cuts.’

Her last word on LC:M? ‘I liked Burberry’s murses.’ That’s man-purses to you and I.

Serena Williams: tennis pro and fluent speaker of fashion.

Serena's not alone: the A-list loves Burberry

Why you should care about London Collections: Men next time around

Hunter recruits Burberry womenswear designer

Read Next: