Serena Williams has received the “Oscar for Fashion,” being designated as a “Fashion Icon”

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Tennis legend Serena Williams has been designated a fashion symbol – “Fashion Icon” – by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The distinction is equivalent to the Oscars in fashion, placing the esteemed tennis player in select company with other CFDA-awarded celebrities such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, or Zendaya, as reported by the BBC.

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The organization bestowed the title of “Fashion Icon” upon Serena Williams on Monday night at a ceremony held in New York.

“I’ve explored fashion and style as a way to distinguish myself,” Williams told the audience. “In many ways, for me, tennis courts have become fashion runways.”

Williams is the first athlete to win this prestigious title. Previous awardees include names like Beyoncé, Zendaya, and Rihanna.

A 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, Serena strutted down the red carpet at the American Museum of Natural History wearing a specially designed black sequin dress by CFDA President Thom Browne.


The equivalent of the Oscars night in the fashion industry, Williams received the “CFDA 2023 Fashion Icon Award,” presented to her by none other than Kim Kardashian.

Among those present at the ceremony were actresses Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Demi Moore, singer Mary J Blige, and model Winnie Harlow.

In her acceptance speech, Williams talked about her love for fashion and its role on the tennis court.

“I designed denim skirts and wore tutus and purple bodysuits, and I put beads in my hair and made braids out of hair strands,” she said. “It was really just a way for me to have fun, personally.”

Williams studied fashion during her tennis career, attending a fashion school between Grand Slams, and in 2018, she launched her clothing line, S by Serena.

In 2019, Williams told Essence magazine that her clothes “represent women everywhere – mothers, daughters, and invincible sisters; powerful businesswomen and entrepreneurs; people who are excluded from society and disadvantaged individuals; girls with wild dreams and courageous women of color.”

At the age of 42, Williams concluded her 27-year professional career in 2022 at the US Open in New York, though she stated, “I’m not retiring” and “the chances (of returning) are very high.”

In a Vogue magazine article, she referred to the end of her career as an “evolution away from tennis.”

During the award ceremony, Williams expressed gratitude to several people but saved her final thanks for her mother.

“Watching her sew, she instilled in me this creativity that I have today,” Williams said.

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