Serena Williams Makes History as First Athlete to Receive CFDA Fashion Icon Award

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Serena Williams is being recognized as a trailblazer in athletic fashion!

Williams has always pushed the fashion envelope on the court. From skirts to bespoke tennis outfits and Flo-Jo inspired get ups, she has been just as influential in athleisure as she has been in the game of tennis. That love of fashion led the tennis icon to launch her own brand, S by Serena, and put her front and center with other fashion trailblazers. And now after decades of making her mark, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has announced that Serena Williams will receive the Fashion Icon Award, making history as the first athlete to ever receive the award, Hype beast reports.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve used fashion as an outlet to express myself – fashion gave me the confidence to step on the court and own who I was, and where I knew I was going. My dream of owning my own brand, S by Serena, has become a reality and throughout my career I have been blessed to collaborate with the most established designers and the most exciting up-and-coming creatives,” said Williams in a statement.

The prestigious award will break down more barriers in the fashion world and for athletes looking to blaze trails in the arena. Williams said she’s proud to receive the honor and hopes that she’s helped to democratize fashion and make it more inclusive.

“I have had so much fun learning my style and allowing it to change as my life has evolved, but I’ve always held one thing true:”

“fashion is for everyone, no matter your size, race, or income,”

Williams explained.

CFDA chairman Thom Browne said Williams is more than deserving of the 2023 Fashion Icon Award, calling her “the ultimate example of individuality.”

Browne said, “Serena is one of the most inspiring people in the world… a true individual…she is an icon of the sports world…representing greatness on the highest level…bringing fashion to another world…for another audience…always staying true to herself, both on and off the court…a perfect combination of our worlds…the ultimate example of individuality in everything she does…Serena is a true fashion icon.”

CFDA firsts

The CFDA has been working to become more inclusive. In 2020, CaSandra Diggs made history as the first Black woman to lead the organization. And in 2021, Dapper Dan made history as the first Black designer to receive its Lifetime Achievement Award. Now Williams carries the historic torch this year, with Brooklyn designer Brandon Blackwood also named as one of this year’s nominees. Williams will receive the prestigious trophy at the 2023 CFDA Fashion Awards on November 6th. The event will be hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and held at the American Museum of Natural History.

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