Serena Williams is unstoppable on and off the court. In May, the tennis superstar launched a totally new eponymous fashion line, independent of her previous apparel ventures with HSN. The offering, she tells Refinery29, is designed to encourage women to express their creativity and individuality. Now, she's furthering her mission and extending her size range with the Serena Great Collection, featuring sizes 1X- 3X (14 to 24). The pieces were created with a curvier body in mind, aimed at reinventing what we consider "plus-sized."
"I’ve never been thin, even as an athlete," Williams told Neighborhood Goods in a interview. "I’ve always been curvier, or larger. But I felt like ‘plus’ isn’t a word I’d use to describe a lot of women. The people that I know who are a bit curvier… how do I think of them? Well, I’m inspired by them. They’re great. So that’s it— that’s the word: ‘great’." Further, Williams notes in the launch's press release, "We’re calling this collection 'Serena Great' because I wanted a different word than 'plus.'" Williams will continue to slowly debut more pieces, but opted to release the first few styles in time for the holidays.
She launched the line in partnership with a pop-up inside of Neighborhood Goods (which is pegged as a modern alternative to the department store in Plano, Texas). For Williams, it was a cool way to get into a brick-and-mortar shop. "We're a direct-to-consumer company, which is a great way to cut out the middle man and supply," she explains to Refinery29. "I've learned it's really hard for people to understand the quality, and to see things when [they're sold online]." So she's treating the pop-up like a mini focus group. Beyond that, the sports icon plans to continue dropping new product on the site monthly. "There is always something new, something fresh," she adds.