Venus Williams Greets Tennis Fans at Bloomingdale’s Shop

Venus Williams held court Thursday night at the opening of The Carousel @Bloomingdale’s: Game On, at the 59th Street flagship. A long line of adults and kids waited patiently to meet Williams, who signed tennis balls and took photos with her fans.

Williams spent a few minutes talking with WWD about the collaboration and the experience in designing Aqua x Venus Williams collection, which has both a fashion and athletic vibe.

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“It was so much fun,” said Williams, who’s been a fan of Aqua, Bloomingdale’s private label collection, for years. “I remember when it [Aqua] started, and I remember being fascinated with it, the design, the accessibility and the quality. So fast forward all these years later and when I had this opportunity, I was jumping up and down because I’ve been buying the brand for so long,” said Williams, the seven Grand Slam singles titles winner.

The Carousel at Bloomingdale's: Game On, curated by Venus Williams.
The Carousel @Bloomingdale’s: Game On, curated by Venus Williams.

“It’s a great evolution of Aqua and tennis and it’s so cool that tenniscore is trending now, and all these things come together. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” added Williams, who’s been working with Bloomingdale’s for the past year on the collection. Williams said she’s a big fan of colors these days, which “come in and out of style.” Her favorite look in the line was the blue tweed short-sleeve blazer and pleated blue tweed skirt, which she wore to the event.

Venus Williams
Venus Williams

There are 36 stock keeping units in the collection, ranging from $48 to $198.

Offerings run the gamut from preppy athleisure and nostalgic retro apparel to accessories and summer beauty items. In addition to Aqua x Venus Williams collection, the shop carries exclusives from brands such as Anine Bing, Longchamp and Williams’ own brands, Happy Viking, a plant-based superfood nutrition company, and Asutra, all-natural self care products.

Venus Williams
Venus Williams signing a tennis ball.

Williams closed her own EleVen by Venus Williams tennis collection after last fall’s line and now has a partnership with Lacoste.

Explaining the design process with Bloomingdale’s, Williams said it was interesting because they brought the same ideas to the initial meeting. “I had my boards and they had their boards, and sometimes we had the same inspiration picture. From the beginning, we were all on the same page. And we had that sense of trust,” she said.

Denise Magid and Venus Williams
Denise Magid, chief merchant at Bloomingdale’s, and Venus Williams.

What she’s most excited about are the cashmere pieces. “I’ve never really crossed over into true ready-to-wear before. These are ready-to-wear pieces that are sporty. You can move in this and can be yourself in this,” she said.

The Carousel at Bloomingdale's: Game On
The Carousel @Bloomingdale’s: Game On

As for her tennis career, Williams said she won’t be playing at Wimbledon this summer. “I’m playing in an exhibition in Atlanta. I haven’t played since the Miami Open. I’m kind of like getting back on the court and practicing,” she said.

Williams talks with her fans.
Venus Williams talks with her fans.

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