As seen in this season and in seasons past, the runway offers designers the opportunity to do more than just show off their latest collections. Take Serena Williams for example. On Monday, during her third New York Fashion Week show, the 34-year-old sports legend chose to discuss female empowerment by reciting a beautiful, original poem.
"She turns her disappointment into triumph," William's voice said over a loudspeaker while the 34-year-old presented her Signature Statement collection for HSN at Kia Style360 in New York City. "Her grief into joy. Her rejections into approvals. If no one believes in her it does not matter. She believes in herself. Nothing stops her. No one can touch her. She is woman."
According to USA Today, Williams mixed her words, which she had wrote right after her win at Wimbledon, with music from female artists like Beyoncé and Sia. Oh, and, it just so happens that it was pre-approved by Beyoncé herself.
"I just was in this moment of I want to empower women," she said backstage to the Associated Press. "I played it for Beyoncé and she loved it."
She added, "It was right around the time I was asked, 'How do you feel about being the greatest female athlete?' and I was, like, they never ask men that. I wanted to give women strength."
Williams was referencing an incident in July when she corrected a reporter at a Wimbledon press conference and stated she prefers "one of the greatest athletes of all time."
Williams has yielded her fair share of sexist questions and comments throughout her tennis career ranging from remarks about her muscular body to being told to smile more. And she's issued plenty of much-deserved clapbacks, making it no surprise that she'd use a big presentation, like her runway show at fashion week, to stick up for herself and many other women like her.
"I am who I am. I love who I am," she said in the September issue of Self. "Just that whole attitude of being strong and powerful — that's something I can get behind."
See a few more looks from her clothing collection with HSN below: