Serena Williams honored as ‘fashion icon’ at fashion’s big awards night


 (AP) — Serena Williams was honored at Monday’s Council of Fashion Designers of America awards for her career and contributions to American fashion.

Williams, who retired from tennis last year, is the first athlete to win the CFDA’s Fashion Icon award. Kim Kardashian presented the award. In addition to her groundbreaking tennis career, Williams was honored for her work as a designer herself, as an entrepreneur, and as a philanthropist.

The fashion industry’s equivalent of the Oscars was held at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan and hosted by Anne Hathaway.

When Williams, now 42, retired from tennis, she said she needed to make the tough choice to focus on motherhood. She gave birth in August to a baby girl, almost exactly a year after her last match as a tennis star. Adira River Ohanian is the second child — and second daughter — of Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Their first, Olympia, was born in 2017.

Williams was making news in a fashion well before her retirement from tennis. In 2018, she launched her “S by Serena” clothing line, and in 2019, a jewelry line. In a statement before the event, designer and current CFDA chairman Thom Browne called Williams “one of the most inspiring people in the world ... representing greatness on the highest level.” She has been, Browne said, “the ultimate example of individuality in everything she does” and “a true fashion icon.”

Catherine Holstein of the label Khaite won the coveted award for womenswear designer of the year.

Willy Chavarria, who has created looks worn by Bad Bunny and Venus Williams, among others, won the menswear designer of the year award.

The CFDA awards are presented by Amazon Fashion.

Last year, Kardashian was honored for her shapewear line and used the occasion to call for designers to be inclusive of all body shapes.

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