Serena Williams includes feminist messages in French Open outfit05/28/2019
Serena Williams is back on the court with a powerful statement.
The tennis player, 37, stepped out for the first match of the 2019 French Open wearing a custom Off-White for Nike crop top, skirt and cape-style jacket, the latter of which was printed with the French words for “Mother, Champion, Queen, Goddess.”
“It has words in it in French. It talks about me being a mom and me being a queen, as all women are. A champion. It’s positive reinforcement for me, and I kind of love that,” Serena told the Tennis Channel about her black and white outfit, per Business Insider.
Williams made her return to the Grand Slam competition in Paris in 2018 after missing five majors while pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. Upon her return, she sparked debate by wearing a black catsuit specifically designed to help prevent life-threatening blood clots, one of many complications from which the tennis star suffered after giving birth.
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli banned the look, saying, “One must respect the game and the place.”
“[The words on the jacket] are things that mean a lot to me and reminders for me and for everyone that wants to wear it,” Williams told AP News after Monday’s match. “Just remind everyone that they can be champions and are queens. So I love that about it.”
“It is a lot to carry, but so is being Serena Williams,” she added.
Off-White’s Virgil Abloh designed the look; he previously created the tutu outfit Williams wore in the first round of the 2018 US Open after her controversial catsuit was banned, and the two have collaborated on her on-court looks ever since.
Serena won her first round against Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko, advancing to the second. No doubt there will be more headline-making games (and outfits) to come.
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