Two years after revealing the Serena Williams Design Crew apprenticeship program, Nike is set to deliver its first collection, which features four footwear selections.
The SWDC1 Collection, according to Nike, was created to celebrate the tennis star’s accomplishments as an athlete, as a style icon and as a champion of change, weaving her story into every detail of the range. And every selection includes her signature.
Featured in the lineup are two iterations of the Nike Court Legacy. For one take, the Serena Williams Design Crew included a Kente cloth design, and the other is delivered in black with white hits. Both styles feature see-saw edging and four gold eyelets, which serve as a nod to the tennis icon’s gold medals.
The range also includes an Air Max Koko platform sandal, executed with layered foam midsoles that allow it to be both smooth and flexible, as well as the Serena Williams Design Crew “10 4 01” logo on the top added to celebrate “inclusivity, diversity and the bond between individual and team.”
Lastly, Nike will release the RYZ 365 2, which includes details that celebrate the athlete’s achievements on and off the court. It is built with soft and modern midsoles with cutouts, as well as the Serena Williams Design Crew “10 4 01” logo on the tongue.
Beyond footwear, the collection features performance apparel for women including the long-sleeve tennis bodysuit, the printed tennis top, printed tennis shorts, crossover tennis tights, printed half-zip tennis top and the short-sleeve tennis top.
The lifestyle apparel in the collection for women includes a short-sleeve tennis crop top, tennis jersey dress, fleece tennis pants, woven tennis pants, fleece tennis hoodie, printed tennis jumpsuit and tennis jumpsuit.
The collection arrives Sept. 1 via Nike.com, as well as at Nike stores and select retailers.
Nike and Williams created the Serena Williams Design Crew design apprenticeship program in 2019 “to promote diversity in design and establish a new generation of design talent at Nike and beyond.” In January 2020, the first SWDC visited the brand’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., worked for six months to produce footwear, apparel and accessories inspired by the tennis icon in the worlds of performance and lifestyle product
“Serena has been so committed to the program. She wants to meet each apprentice. She wants to see their portfolios. She wants to be a part of the briefing of the product. She wants to be a part of the design reviews,” Jonathan Johnsongriffin, Nike VP, global creative director, said in a statement.
Jarvis Sam, Nike VP, diversity and inclusion, added: “‘Authenticity’ is not a buzzword here. When you think about Serena Williams as a person and a player, you think resilience, grit, perseverance. Those are the same characteristics that we see in the apprentices.”