Serena Williams Is Radiant In Custom Balenciaga on Vogue World Runway After Retiring

Serena Williams at Vogue World
Getty Images for Vogue

The tennis champion opened the runway show which featured a surprise performance by Lil Nas X.

Serena Williams may have retired from professional tennis, but she's still serving aces on the runway! The tennis legend opened the Vogue World runway show on Monday wearing a custom Balenciaga tank dress with a silver laminated jersey cape. 

Four young ball girls wearing white tennis dresses accompanied the Vogue cover star down the runway, sporting tennis rackets to accessorize. As Williams walked down the runway, a recording of her voice from an interview with NBC about the 2000 Wimbledon match tournament played, saying, "I want people to remember me as the girl who changed tennis or just was able to bring something new to the game."

VOGUE World: New York was inspired by the global theme of Vogue's September issue and in celebration of the title's 130th anniversary. The live editorial fashion show and street fair showcased looks from Fall/Winter 2022 collections including Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, Valentino, Burberry, Coach, Michael Kors, Brother Vellies, Bode, Conner Ives, Christopher John Rogers, Collina Strada, Matty Bovan, Ralph Lauren, Proenza Schouler, No Sesso, Diesel, Banana Republic, Tory Burch, and more. 

The Williams-led opener was bookended with a surprise performance by Lil Nas X to finish the show.

Earlier that day, Williams held the presentation of her clothing line, S by Serena, and jewelry line, Serena Williams Jewelry, at Spring Studios in New York City.

In conversation with Nikki Ogunnaike, Digital Director of Harper's Bazaar, the tennis champion shared how she's been connecting with her 4-year-old daughter through fashion, revealing that Olympia has given her opinions on her mother's choices while Williams was designing her line.

"Sometimes I'll say, 'Which color do you like better? Which dress do you like better?' and she'll say, 'That one!'" Williams recollected. "I'm not sure if she's just pointing at one to play games after that or if she's serious."

"She won't know that some of the process is actually an item Olympia picked because it was either or," she added. "I'll put everything out and I'll just be like, 'Pick one!'"

Back in August, the 40-year-old superstar announced her intention to retire from tennis, and while she didn't officially use that word, she did share that she is "evolving away from tennis."

"I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me," Williams shared in a first-person account published in Vogue's September 2022 issue. "A few years ago, I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family."

The next month, Williams lost to Ajla Tomljanović in the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium, likely marking the end of her tennis career.