SBD/May 2, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Venus Williams Launches New Women's Tenniswear Collection, EleVen

Williams said that she hopes younger tennis players will wear her brand
Venus Williams was in N.Y. Monday to "launch her new tenniswear collection," EleVen, and is working with a manufacturing partner, Ugo Capasso, to produce the line in L.A., according to Lisa Lockwood of WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY. Capasso said of Williams, "She's fully involved in the design, which makes it easy for us." Capasso added that EleVen will offer "three small capsules this year, and next spring, the line will be three times the size." Distribution will be "expanded to department and specialty stores and more pro shops." Williams said that the collection "isn't inspired by the latest trends, but rather comes from deep within herself." For her line -- which "features strong, simple and classic designs -- she brings her love of art and watercolor and even incorporates some of her original prints." Some of the styles have "secret, handwritten messages from Williams such as 'Bring It,' and 'Oh and Oh, Beat 'Em,' which are hidden in each piece of the collection." She plans to "expand to a lifestyle line" in '13. Williams said, "Right now, it's just a sneak peak of it all. It's my mind and my philosophy coming out in clothes. This is just the beginning. It's important to have calculated growth. You have to be strategic." Although she "doesn't have a footwear line yet, she said someday she would like to design sneakers under the EleVen label." Williams: "That would be awesome. Now I wear whatever matches the outfit." Lockwood asked, "Does she envision some of her tennis friends wearing the collection on tour?" Williams said, "I'd like to get some of the younger players to wear it. I'll be the kind of person that it wouldn't just be about the clothes. I'd probably say, 'Here are your outfits for these two tournaments. Also here are the earrings and the necklace. Please wear it with this hair band" (WWD.com, 5/1).
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