Serena Williams to took the cover of Essence magazine in a tribal-inspired shoot facilitated by the one and only Laolu NYC. In the cover interview, she hinted at plans to foray even further into the world of fashion after launching her eponymous label 'Serena' last year and countless collaborations with brands from Nike to Off- White, on the tennis court.
The entrepreneur wore a series of tribal-themed looks in the magazine’s 'Global Fashion Issue' and one that really caught our eye was a floor-length kimono with tribal accents by the one and only Jane Michael Ekanem.
The kimono was designed by Nigerian designer Jane Michael Ekanem under her label Jane Michael Collection. She collaborated with artist Laolu NYC who added his signature white markings to the lapel and brought the piece to life with the spirit of Africa.
Jane, no doubt excited by this international exposure, shared the look alongside a touching caption on Instagram where she revealed the story behind the kimono and how it found its way onto Serena . She wrote:
"About this same time 4 years ago, I posted a video of Serena Williams of how she said ‘I want other people to be like me’ when she was asked who she would like to be like. It’s not far fetched from mine as I always tell people I want to be a better version of myself.
Today, at this same period, I have my piece worn by @serenawilliams, one of the most powerful and most accomplished women in the world wear my Kimono piece tailored and made here in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria in a global magazine, @essence, in a global fashion edition.
No matter who you are and where you are, when your time is here, your universe will come for you. Keep at what you are doing. Do good relentlessly.
I am just that young black girl who is trying to keep the dreams alive. And as @lupitanyongo would say ‘your dreams are still valid’. I have never doubted my journey even though sometimes I got angry and impatient.
My life is a work in progress and I will trust the process.
A huge thanks to @laolunyc for being the bridge. The art you put on the lapel made it even more attractive.
The kimono was inspired from the #EnergyGod kimono made by @janemichaelcollection for @do2dtunduring his photoshoot. The Kimono symbolizes energy and light.
A big shout out to my team, @miss_kudy, @the_ayoolakehinde, @oluchi_i, @blvcknuel, @buchithestylist & @janemichaelcollection for standing by me through the most trying times."