“Movement Is on the Front Line of Every Decision”, is Move Venus Williams

Most professional athletes are accustomed to prioritizing function over form with the clothes they wear to compete. Of course, that’s a tough pill to swallow if you’re someone who cares about fashion, too. The best way to get you athletic-wear that does both? Do like Venus Williams and design your own. EleVen by Venus Williams, which she launched in 2007, includes tops and bottoms, plus a tennis-friendly line that the 37-year-old great will be sporting when she steps on the U.S. Open courts over the next few weeks.

After looking at some of the styles from her newest collection, Epiphany, ELLE.com connected with the pro for real tips on how she stays stylish without hampering her ability to win.

What do you consider when selecting and designing stylish pieces that also allow for ultimate athletic performance?

“It’s important I accomplish the vision for the season while never compromising performance. And fit is very important. It has to be perfect and ready to move with you no matter the workout. After that, I’m a firm believer that style depends on your mood. The Epiphany line is perfect for this season: It was inspired by confidence and determination, which you can see in the boldness of the pattern and color. She’s not afraid to unapologetically put her best foot forward. The Epiphany line also has our EleVen Pro-Dri fabric, which breathes to keep you cool. For comfort, I love our Seamless line. The pieces fit like a second skin. I wear something from Seamless everyday.”

Do certain colors or prints work best when you’re going to be seriously sweating?

“I don’t think you should ever hide sweat! It shows you have done the work—I wear it like a badge of honor. That being said, dark colors like black and light colors like white hide sweat best. Grey shows it the most. Typically patterns don’t show sweat.”

What don’t women consider when it comes to what they’re wearing to work out?

“As an athlete, I design with movement at the forefront of every decision. EleVen ensures all designs are appropriate for each endeavor, for appearance and efficiency. The fit has to be there so that what you’re wearing doesn’t distract you.Whether you’re running errands or a marathon, EleVen is designed to help you perform, to push your limits. Your focus is on your performance.”

What’s the relationship between your on- and off- court style?

“My look always reflects how I want to express myself. When I want to feel powerful on the court, I’m wearing strong, colorful pieces from my line, like our flutter skirt or the race day tank. How I see the world and my unbreakable, positive outlook on life—no matter the challenges I face—shapes the collection. It breathes positivity and optimism. It’s a message I want to pass to each new every woman who wears EleVen.

“Off the court, I’m addicted to dresses and skirts. I live in warm weather—I’m spoiled! I’m not immune to fashion faux pas though; I’ve had some regrets about what I’ve worn in the past. That said, I don’t dwell on those moments because I’m always focused on what’s next.”