“I’ve been around designs that didn’t really include my shape, and I wanted to make sure that if I ever had [a brand], I’d want it to include people who were a little bit curvier,” she says. “No matter what size you are—whether you’re small, large, we’ve got something for you, and that’s something that’s really important to me.” That’s why the brand offers sizes ranging from XS to 3XL, and states on its website that its styles are designed to empower “people to feel their best, look their best, and be their best selves.”
The hope with her brand, she says, is that it can foster this feeling while people are browsing the racks—and afterward.
“If you’re constantly shopping and you’re not seeing your size, you start to believe that maybe you’re too big, or you don’t look good enough, or you don’t feel good enough, and we just don’t want those attitudes,” she says. “We want everyone to feel great.”
2. Self-care in sports is a challenge—but it’s vital.
Fashion, and fostering inclusivity in it, is just one area Williams has focused on in recent months. She kept busy throughout 2020, and, like many of us, spent the COVID-19 pandemic reflecting on the unforeseen circumstances and how to navigate a post-pandemic life.
While Williams took part in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour last year, the tournaments were suspended in mid-March, affording her the rare, unprecedented opportunity for downtime. Though the context for the career recess was steeped in tragedy, Williams says she was fortunate for the chance to reset.
“I was hoping it would be a new beginning for healing—physically and everything,” she says. (Upon resuming her demanding schedule, though, Williams was forced to withdraw from the French Open in September due to an Achilles injury).
Healing is a topic that’s been particularly pertinent in the athletic world recently, as Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have both recently made headlines for shining a light on the critical need for more awareness, sensitivity, and empathy around mental health issues. Psychological self-care is an issue Williams says is deeply personal to each individual, and is a skill she’s still learning to master.
“I feel like you have to be able to find a good balance,” she says of the push and pull between an inherently demanding career and the need for self-preservation. “It’s hard for a lot of people.”
Herself included. In fact, while Williams understands the importance of self-care, she’s hesitant to portray herself as a model for how to do it, since she still believes she has much to learn about putting it into practice.
“I don’t know if I’m the best person to speak on it, but I feel like you have to take care of you, and one of the most important things you have to learn in life is to put you first,” she says. “I think some people learn that the easy way, and some people learn it the hard way. I’m still learning—it’s definitely a work in progress.”
3. A workout you enjoy can be a game-changer.
While you might think Williams—who tennis legends like Andre Agassi and Roger Federer have proclaimed to likely be the game’s greatest player—gets all the training she needs on the court, she still diversifies her workout routine for those ever-important cross-training benefits. And one of her favorite ways to do so is surprisingly relatable: She has a serious Peloton habit.