In honor of what might be the athlete’s final time competing in the US Open, Nike gifted Serena Williams a pair of sneakers inspired by her late friend and collaborator, designer Virgil Abloh.
The tennis champion highlighted the sneakers were inspired by the 2018 “Queen” collection Abloh designed for Nike in her honor.
More specifically, the Abloh-inspired sneaker the athlete received pulled inspiration from one of the “Queen” collection’s tutu dresses, which Williams said she’s “obsessed with and will always be obsessed with.”
The “Queen” collection-inspired sneaker was one of several Williams unboxed from Nike on her Instagram Stories on Aug. 31.
All the sneakers were individually influenced by several of the athlete’s most “memorable moment” outfits on the court.
Three other sneakers Williams showed off were inspired by either when she wore a denim mini skirt at the US Open, a black and red look at Roland Garros, or her iconic Flo-Jo-inspired one-piece.
“I loved Virgil so much, and I still do. Always will,” Williams stated as she held the special gift.
Serena Williams And Virgil Abloh’s Relationship With Nike
Williams shared on Instagram earlier this week that Nike was instrumental in one of her most talked about US Open looks this year — a blinged-out figure skating-inspired black dress and sneakers.
The shoes were adorned in 400 hand-set diamonds in collaboration with Serena Williams Jewelry, Glamour reports.
“I worked with the @nike design team on my final tournament look that would keep me feeling comfortable and confident ✨. My custom NikeCourt Flare 2s are just brilliant 💎. With diamond-encrusted swooshes and @serenawilliamsjewelry deubrés on the laces that read ‘mama’ and ‘queen.’ Paired with an embellished bodice and tutu skirt inspired by the night sky above center court in Flushing, NY,” penned Williams.
“With Serena, we have one of our generation’s most powerful, inspiring athletes as the muse,” Abloh said in a statement from Nike, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
“I was trying to embody her spirit and bring something compelling and fresh to tennis,” he said of the “Queen” collection.
Read more below about Williams and Abloh’s bond.