Sports

Venus Williams’ First Lacoste Campaign Proves Fashion and Sport are the Perfect Match

Venus Williams’ First Lacoste Campaign Proves Fashion and Sport are the Perfect Match

Photo: Stas Komarovski
Signing up to become Lacoste’s global ambassador was a no-brainer for Venus Williams, a self-professed “tennis nerd”, who really knows her racket-sport history, as well as how to ace a killer drop shot on the court. Speaking on the set of her Vogue shoot, Williams shares that she has always felt inspired by brand founder René Lacoste’s game-changing approach to fashion. When current creative director Louise Trotter, a woman known for her effortlessly luxe approach to style, came along, it was a match made in heaven.
Photo: Stas Komarovski
“Her clothes really transform you once you put them on,” says Williams. “I’m into what makes you happy, and fashion and clothes make me so happy. It’s where I belong.” For a powerhouse woman at the top of her industry, it’s refreshing to hear that Williams still gets giddy at the sight of a great top – and not just the sweat-wicking kind. She loves the way Louise’s Lacoste encourages her to level up and do her best in her field and in life. “It was like role modeling for me,” she shares of working with Trotter. “Working with Louise makes me feel like I want to be better; I want to work harder; I want to dig deeper inside of myself.”
Photo: Stas Komarovski
Trotter, a tennis fan who can scarcely believe she can call Venus a colleague, is thrilled that the stars have aligned for this moment. “I can get a little bit emotional, because I’m a big tennis fan and having the opportunity to work with someone that you have so much respect for… she’s a true trailblazer,” explains Louise, who is the first woman at the creative helm of the French brand known for its crocodile logo. “I have so much respect for Venus, not just for her amazing game, but her values and the way she sees life. What she’s achieved not only as an athlete, but as a human in really pushing for women and equality and empowerment… for me, that’s such an incredible message.”
For Williams’s part, being a role model is first and foremost about how you view yourself. “You can’t really be a role model for someone else if you’re not happy with how you feel about the way you’re living your own life,” says Venus. “I just wanted to play tennis and then this whole role model thing came after, but thankfully my parents were good parents and gave us values.”
Photo: Stas Komarovski
It’s lucky for Lacoste her journey led her to the brand (Williams does not often sign brand endorsement deals). Her daily approach to getting dressed for herself is something we can all learn from. “I just wake up and I get dressed to the nines, like every day,” says the woman who transforms her wardrobe every two years. “I felt like I was waiting for my life to happen. Now, my life is so much better!” If you take one thing away from Venus Williams’s Lacoste campaign, it’s that dressing for yourself is the ultimate form of empowerment. And there’s plenty more to come.
Shop Lacoste’s latest fusion of fashion and sport now at Lacoste.com
Senior Designer: Phil JacksonPhotograph Assistants: John Bain-Griffith, Alex Kalb, John KarpLead Production Manage: Camilla BellamacinaProducer: Eolande DiazStylist: Patrick MackieStylist Assistant: Stephanie HensleyHair: Graham NationMakeup: Karina MilanDeputy Head of Production & Delivery: Jasmine DayLocal production: Select Services Miami
Read Next: How UAE’s Sheikha Latifa is Taking Sports Representation to New Heights
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk 

Why adidas’s New Full-Cover Swimwear Collection Offers a Lot More Than Modesty

Why adidas’s New Full-Cover Swimwear Collection Offers a Lot More Than Modesty

Asma Elbadawi. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
adidas has unveiled its first full-cover swimwear collection offering a wider choice of versatile apparel for women. The range is designed to support the needs of those who find limited choice in swimwear and is informed – via community engagement and global insights – by those who expressed a need for full-coverage swimwear for cultural reasons, or those just looking for greater choice via a broader range of technical apparel to suit their needs in the water.
This is a collection especially needed for Middle Eastern women. A YouGov survey commissioned by adidas this year reveals that only 12% of women surveyed are completely comfortable wearing a swimsuit at a public beach or pool. Body shame and lack of privacy are the two main reasons women do not feel comfortable in their swimsuits. Additionally, 59% of women aged 18-42 surveyed in the UAE agree or strongly agree that the “media creates an unattainable body image for female swimmers.”
Photo: Courtesy of adidas
“At adidas we believe that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water. We are constantly looking at ways to diversify our product offering for all women and our Full-Cover Swimwear Collection is rooted in that mentality,” says Sybille Baumann, Senior Product Manager of adidas Swimwear.
Hence, the multi-piece collection includes swimsuits that offer coverage from neck to ankle. This piece features press studs inside the top at hip height and along the outside of the fabric on the legs to connect the two and offer an adjustable fit as required, preventing unnecessary movement of material in and out of the water. It also features thumb holes in the sleeves for optimized fit. In addition, singlets with sleeves, and a swim hijab featuring a specially crafted adjustable inner cap to provide the perfect fit and to prevent it from slipping while swimming complete the collection.
The quick-drying range is made of chlorine-resistant fabric that features Econyl® regenerated yarn as part of adidas’s ongoing commitment towards sustainable design.

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The Beyond the Surface campaign, part of Watch Us Move – adidas’s broader initiative to create more space for women in sport – celebrates the power of water and its ability to defy restrictions, bring renewal, and accept everyone unconditionally. It is fronted by Sudanese-British Asma Elbadawi, basketball athlete, spoken-word poet, and sport inclusivity activist, who created a poem to celebrate her relationship with the water and the confidence it can bring to all women. She is known to have petitioned and succeeded in convincing the International Basketball Association to remove its ban on hijabs and religious headwear in the professional sport.
Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
“Sport never judges you, that is why we love it, and I am passionate about finding ways to ensure we can provide a level playing field for all,” Elbadawi says. “Sadly, that is not always possible, but gone are the days where sport apparel needs should be a barrier to entry, especially when it comes to being in and around the water. This is a project that is close to my heart, and I am incredibly proud to support a campaign that will remove barriers for women across the world to enjoy swimming.”
Elbadawi will feature in the campaign alongside Lebanese amputee athlete Dareen Barbar, Liuba Novikova, Queen Owie, and Tracey Massoud.
Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
The 18-strong piece collection will be available from June 10, 2021, on adidas.com, in black, aqua blue, and burgundy red in sizes 2XS to 2XL. Each item is sold separately and can be combined into one look or used as individual items.
Read Next: The Future of Sport is Her as adidas Puts Women at its Core

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