Over the weekend, Off-White hinted an upcoming collaboration by Virgil Abloh for Nike on social media with very little information. And what really fueled the buzz and speculation over the past day or so is the collection's muse: Serena Williams.
On Monday, Nike officially announced Abloh's "Queen Collection" for the GOAT tennis athlete, who will debut the designs at the U.S. Open's 50th edition tournament in New York at the end of August. Williams's anticipated appearance will join a slew of other major fashion statements within the tennis world. At Wimbledon earlier this summer, streetwear dominated the courts thanks to Palace's collaboration with Adidas, while Roger Federer's switch to Uniqlo was confirmed as soon as he stepped on court in an all-white kit by the Japanese brand.
The Queen Collection ranges in price from $130 to $900 and consists of a dress for day and nighttime play, a bomber jacket, a bag, a glittery pair of NikeCourt Flare 2 sneakers and limited-edition styles of Abloh's previous Nike collaboration The 10, which includes a Nike Air Max 97 and The 10: Nike Blazer Mid SW with gradient-colored soles — a design that leaked online back in April. The collection boasts plenty of Off-White signatures, like zip-tie tags and "Serena" in all-caps and quotes.
"What I love about tennis is the gracefulness. It's an aggressive and powerful game, but it takes touch and finesse," said Abloh in an official statement. "So the dress is feminine, but combines her aggression. It's partially revealing. It's asymmetrical. It has a sort of ballerina-esque silhouette to symbolize her grace. It's not about bells and whistles and tricks. It's just about it living on the body, and expressing Serena’s spirit with each swing of the racket."
The creative process between Abloh and Nike was a collaborative one. After Abloh met with the NikeCourt team in Paris to discuss the collection, a body form specific to Williams's figure was sent to his atelier in Italy to sort out ideas for materials, such as tulle and supportive mesh. Then the options were flown to Williams's home in Indian Wells, Calif., so she could pick out her favorite design details. The collection will be available at select Nike and NikeLab retailers, as well as Nike.com.
See more of the Nike x Virgil Abloh for Serena Williams collaboration in the gallery below.