Venus Williams Continues K-Swiss Partnership With ‘Retro’ Collaboration
Venus Williams has a good thing going with K-Swiss. And the two have expanded on the partnership. The Williams-led EleVen brand enters a third collaboration with K-Swiss, launching Oct. 12, that offers up a 17-piece collection of Retro by EleVen x K-Swiss including hoodies, joggers, leggings, bras and a Williams-inspired Tubes B sneaker.
"K-Swiss was an obvious partner for us as both of our brands are rooted in the game of tennis," Williams says, "but the reason we keep creating with them is because of how well our brands align. We each see the importance of pushing boundaries and inspiring our customers to strive to be the best, whether that be on the court or elsewhere."
This represents the third EleVen x K-Swiss collaboration, coming on the heels of the May 2021 Glow Up collection and November 2020 debut collection. Williams says that every release is a chance to put out fun, new styles or updated fabric choices. "Recently, it's been fascinating to see fashion revive trends from decades past and with this specific capsule with K-Swiss, we chose to draw influence from the retro era," she says. "As you can see, we've allowed the spirit of '70s tennis to grace each piece in this collection and we are loving the throwback energy."
On the apparel side, Williams says the Roller Skate Leggings and matching Rollers Venus Cami offers "the perfect throwback '70s workout vibe" and the Sunset '70s leggings and matching Venus Sports Bra are another favorite. Still, though, a signature items remains the Tubes B sneakers in four different shades. Working on a sneaker is a different process for Williams, so she relied on help from the K-Swiss team to drive that creation.
Throughout the collection, new cuts offered a focus, and the capsule includes a cami with a fresh take on the EleVen original tank top. "There are some exciting new prints in this collection as well, such as the luxe iridescent rib and printed disco chevron foil that are both so flattering," Williams says. "Another huge focus of this collection are the jogger and short sets. We know a lot of our customers continue to work from home, so we wanted to give them options that transition from comfort to gym style."
For Williams, a seven-time major champion in tennis and former number-one player in the world who at age 41 is still touring after turning pro at age 14, the current trend of tennis having yet another rise in fashion has been a lot of fun. "Tennis apparel has obviously always played a huge role in my everyday wardrobe, but it's having such a moment in fashion right now overall, so I love watching that play out," she says.
The tennis star holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Indiana University East and an associate degree in fashion design from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She has worn her EleVen brand on the court since it launched in 2007 but continues to push forward on the brand's reach. Three partnerships with the California-born K-Swiss in the last 12 months, along with other collaborations, highlight that point.
This focus on mixing workout with fashion falls within EleVen's focus of serving as a lifestyle and activewear brand. EleVen got its start in tennis—Williams says tennis will always remain the brand's cornerstone—but she wants to design for the modern woman on the go. "Our goal is to outfit her for anywhere her day might take her, from the court to beyond," Williams says. "As the brand continues to evolve, I am excited to see where else we can accompany our customer."
While Williams enjoys the opportunity to partner on collaborations, she doesn't want to flood her business with them. That said, working with K-Swiss has proven a key relationship. "We want a partner who can bring value, inspiration and creativity to the table," she says, "and that's what we see in K-Swiss and why we keep coming back for more."