The tennis star wore a cape emblazoned with the French words for “champion,” “queen,” “mother” and “goddess” while warming up on court at Roland Garros in Paris ahead of her first-round victory over Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko.
Jean Catuffe via Getty Images Jean Catuffe via Getty Images Jean Catuffe via Getty Images
She removed the cape for the actual game.
Williams had previewed her outfit, which was designed by Virgil Abloh and Nike, on Twitter the day before.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 26, 2019
“I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, [a] queen from Wakanda,” Williams said at the time, referring to the box office hit “Black Panther.”
“I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero,” she added. “I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”
"I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, (a) queen from Wakanda.I'm always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it's kind of my way of being a superhero.I feel like a superhero when I wear it."- @serenawilliams #RG18 pic.twitter.com/GyWeUwetIn
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 29, 2018
However, the outfit was singled out by French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli in August when he announced a new dress code for the sporting event.
“It will no longer be accepted,” he reportedly said. “One must respect the game and place.”
Williams wore an Abloh-designed tutu days later in the first round of the U.S. Open:
Later in the tournament, she followed it up with this lavender tutu:
Williams’ latest on-court fashion choice made waves on social media.
Queen 👸🏽 👑 doing Queen things! https://t.co/SMpAd6OH04
— Secola Edwards (@SecolaEdwards) May 28, 2019
@serenawilliams is everything great about professional sports. Keep on knocking down the barriers, kicking butt on court and pushing fashion in exhilarating directions. #FrenchOpen https://t.co/m1jQlkHmyM
— Doug Moore (@dougwmoore) May 28, 2019
Ok. It says "Champion, Queen, Mother, Goddess" 😆 Tell them! In French just to be clear. 👌❤ https://t.co/PHHoTSS0VE
— Karla Antoinette Baptiste (@KarlaLiving) May 27, 2019
Williams chairs the board of advisers for HuffPost’s parent company, Verizon Media.
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