Serena Williams is the embodiment of a businesswoman. From her venture capitalist firm to her award-winning tennis career, she is continuing to break barriers for working mothers.

This fashion week, Williams tapped into another one of her business ventures and something that is very special to her – fashion design. The tennis athlete presented her first collection this past September at NYFW followed by a second intimate presentation earlier this month. “I actually went to school for fashion design,” Williams exclaimed at her presentation. Before her show, Williams sat with Vogue Editor-In-Cheif, Anna Wintour to briefly discuss her step into the fashion industry.

“I’m already turning around working on September,” Williams said to ESSENCE after making a few rounds at her presentation. Fashion insiders like Elaine Welteroth, Andre Leon Talley, and Lindsay Wagner were amongst the few of the industry’s elite present.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 12: Designer Serena Williams poses with models for the S By Serena Presentation during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Spring Place on February 12, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

ESSENCE got a chance to chat with the entrepreneur directly after her show about her latest collection. Read Below.

“I was thinking of some of my favorite places to travel, which ultimately when I thought about it, was Africa.” – Serena Williams

NH: What was the creative direction behind this collection you presented?

Williams: It was a fashion passport. I was thinking of some of my favorite places to travel, which ultimately when I thought about it, was Africa. That’s where I got the giraffe print from. And then also the vegan leather because I feel like a lot of things are being killed and we’re not saving the earth. We can all just do one small thing and help out so that was also a lot of our inspiration.

NH: How was that producing your second fashion show?

Williams: I just wanted to do something different and September was more runway. And this was about the designer. A lot of people don’t understand designers and what we think about, but I wanted people to know where I came from. I’ve actually been designing for years and went to school for it. It’s not just something I upped and was like, “Oh, I want to design.” It’s like, “No, I actually studied it,” and so I think it’s really important.

NH: Why did you decide to present in a more intimate setting?

Williams: It was very few celebrities here, just some of my closest friends. I wanted to focus on the media because they have helped the brand out a lot and also I wanted them to feel special. This is about them, not necessarily the pizazz and all the lights and the cameras.

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