US – In her inaugural partnership with sportswear giant Nike, the tennis player is championing the diverse design apprentices who worked on the collection. Launched by Nike’s Serena Williams Design Crew (SWDC), the collection is the result of 18 months of work from a team of 10 creatives from under-represented backgrounds. The designs include apparel, footwear and accessories, integrating colours that complement diverse skin tones along with experimental proportions that represent the flow of playing tennis.
The sportswear collection, and its marketing communications, shift the focus away from the prestige of its celebrity ambassador and towards the group of emerging talent behind the scenes. ‘This programme is an opportunity for people who otherwise may have never had a chance to design for the biggest sport company in the world,’ says Serena Williams. ‘I hope this propels these designers in their careers and their lives.’
As brands step in to nurture the next generation of design talent, Williams's initiative reflects the ideas we explore in Alumni Incubators.
It’s no longer enough to rely on influencer endorsement. In an age of celebrity creative directors, find ways to spotlight the real talent who work behind the scenes