Four-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams is known for her strength, style and grace on the tennis court—and now she's showcasing her many talents off the court, too, with a new clothing line called EleVen. Venus talks with Gayle about her foray into fashion and about being a role model to young girls.
Venus says she's always had a passion for fashion—in fact, she'll be graduating from fashion school in December 2007. "I guess tennis is my main art, but fashion is definitely very close," she says. The name of her clothing line, EleVen, was taken from part of her address growing up in Compton, California. In addition, Venus says the number 11 represents the "best of the best." "When people measure things they go 1 to 10, but 11 is a step above," she says.
The clothing line, sold exclusively at Steve & Barry's, features active wear, casual wear, athletic footwear and more, with no item priced over $19.98. With the affordable prices and wide range of sizes, Venus says she created EleVen with all women in mind. "I want it to be about everyone and not just a certain group of people," she says. Venus says she herself will be sporting EleVen's tennis outfits and sneakers whenever she's on the court.
Whether it's with fashion or with her tremendous record as a pioneer in women's sports, Venus acknowledges the positive impact that she—and her tennis star sister Serena—has had on other aspiring athletes. "For us, it's about self-pride and making our family proud and just doing the best for ourselves," she says. "But I guess in the bigger picture, it does a lot more."