On Tuesday, Serena Williams joined Nike in unveiling a collection of women’s athleisure wear and accessories; which is created by a group of 10 up-and-coming designers known as the Serena Williams Design Crew, or SWDC. Nike selected the group two years ago as part of its “diversity in design” apprenticeship program; which seeks to elevate designers of color who are underrepresented in the fashion design world.
The clothes, a mix of SWDC athletic gear and streetwear, will be available on Nike’s website and in stores beginning September 1. Prices range from $20 for a pair of socks to $230 for a tennis tote bag.
Nike says its SWDC collection was inspired by Williams and “1990s nostalgia.”
“Every design decision, down to the smallest details, was made with Serena in mind,” the company said.
Serena Williams and Nike On Diversity
Williams, a designer herself, says she partnered with Nike on the project to promote diversity in the fashion design community.
“I want people from all walks of life to have the opportunity to be in the room,” Williams told CNN Business via email on Tuesday. “There’s so much incredible talent out there. I hope the next generation sees this program and is inspired to get involved.”
Black Americans make up just 6.3% of US apparel makers, according to a 2021 Zippia industry analysis.
Nearly 60% of US fashion designers are White, according to Zippia. Researchers for the career services site say Latino and Asian Americans comprise about 15% and 13% of US fashion designers.
Nike VP of Global Diversity & Inclusion Jarvis Sam says the Serena Williams Design Crew is a key part of the company’s commitment; to bringing diverse perspectives into the design community. Nike said it doesn’t break down its own workforce demographics for design talent.