Cover Nike's Serena Williams Design Crew has launched their first collection (Photo: Nike)

For the apprentice programme, Williams worked with 10 New York-based designers to create a women’s lifestyle collection

In 2019, tennis superstar Serena Williams partnered with the mega sports brand Nike to launch the Serena Williams Design Crew (SWDC), an apprenticeship programme that aims to promote diversity in design.

Nike designers and mentors, as well as Williams, worked together with 10 rising designers from New York—each of whom specialises in a particular discipline—to create their own rendition of a Serena-inspired women's performance and lifestyle collection that includes footwear, apparel and accessories.

“The world isn’t one colour. We come from different backgrounds and think differently. When you bring all that diversity together, can you begin to imagine the amazing things that you are able to make,” said Williams.

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The collection is two years in the making where the designers underwent a six-month designer curriculum at Nike. Today, the collection is unveiled and leading the pack is footwear products—two Nike Court Legacy offerings. The first is a red and navy pair, decorated with abstract patterns on the side.

Meanwhile, the second pair opts for simplicity—classic black and white theme. Both of the pairs have four gilded eyelets, a homage to Williams’ gold medals. The iconic Swooshes are covered in jewelled embellishments. Two RYZ 365 2 that follow the same colour pattern as the Nike Court Legacy pairs and an easy-wear Air Max Koko with a golden Swoosh and black bottom complete the footwear range.

For apparel, a wide range of pieces are available, such as mesh jerseys, patterned overalls, performance bras, shorts, track jackets, tops, bodysuits and sweatpants. Accessories include a tennis tote bag, bucket hat, socks and a headband.

A second year of the programme is already underway, with 11 Chicago-area apprentices taking part.

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The first-ever SWDC collection is available exclusively to Nike members from August 20.

Above Meet the Serena Williams Design Crew