Serena Williams Responds to Catsuit Ban By Competing in a Tutu
By every metric, Serena Williams is a champion. That she’s a champion with some serious flair (on and off the court) is just a bonus for both the tennis and fashion communities.
On Friday, however, it felt as though the pro tennis player's wings were being clipped when French Open president Bernard Guidicelli confirmed that a dress code will being implemented at the 2019 tournament, and that the black catsuit Williams wore during this year’s tournament would no longer be acceptable. Though the code will apply to every competitor in the French Open, the direct targeting of Williams was thinly veiled. “One must respect the game and the place,” Guidicelli added, because, yeah, the 39-time grand slam winner obviously has no respect for the sport that built her career (*insert eyeroll emoji here*).
Anyway, in what feels a fitting retaliation of sorts, Williams competed in (and dominated) the U.S. Open on Monday in one of her most #fashun looks yet: a one-shoulder black Virgil Abloh bodysuit with a swatch of brown fabric at the neck and a flouncy tulle tutu falling above her hips — oh, and fishnet tights, which are both practical (they help prevent blood clots, as her now taboo catsuit also did) and just chic as hell.
The outfit, a collaboration with Nike (which also designed the French Open catsuit), bore personal touches like the name “Serena” written in white text across the lower half of the garment’s single sleeve. The brand also collaborated with Abloh’s Off-White to produce a special pair of sparkling silver sneakers for the athlete with “Serena” branding the outer sole.
Clearly, we weren’t the only ones cheering Serena on — her biggest fan (and husband) Alexis Ohanian was supporting his wife from the stands as she won her first match against Poland’s Magda Linette.