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‘I Just Wasn’t Brave Enough’: Serena Williams Shares the One Regret She Had While Working with Late Fashion Designer Virgil Abloh 

Celebrities across the industry are sharing their experiences working with the late Virgil Abloh in a new film tribute for Vogue, including tennis superstar Serena Williams. She recently revealed the one regret she had while working with the influential fashion designer. 

In the 30-minute movie, the 23-time Grand Slam winner recalled the time she lacked the courage to wear one of the designer’s more daring looks at the 2019 French Open. 

Serena Williams (L) and Virgil Abloh (R). Photos: P. Lehman/Future Publishing via Getty Images, Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums

“I still kind of regret not doing what Virgil told me to do,” the star athlete shared. “He wanted me to wear this long skirt with the crazy train, and then a cape with a train, and then just walk out on the court.”

At the time, Williams said she couldn’t see the vision the Chicago native had in mind for the revered athlete. She continued, “And I’m thinking, ‘Virgil, I like fashion, and I like pushing the envelope, but this — I just don’t think I can do this.’” The 40-year-old admitted, “I just wasn’t brave enough to go out there in all the red clay, and just walk out in this train, of like, a Met Gala at the French Open.”

Before his death, Williams had the opportunity to wear two designs by the fashion icon during her appearances in the 2018 U.S. Open as part of their “Queen Collection” collaboration with Nike. 

Williams shared the clip on her Instagram page earlier this week. In the caption, she shared kind words for the industry trailblazer, writing, “Virgil was so much more than a collaborator, he was a friend, an innovator” before sharing, “I really wish I wore the magnificent skirt he made for me in 2018.” she concluded her note declaring, “You saw it before me, Virgil, we will keep your legacy alive.”

Abloh passed away on Nov. 28, 2021, following a highly private two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a condition in which a malignant tumor blocks blood flow in and out of the heart’s right upper chamber. He was 41 years old. 

Four months after his death, Wiliams joined several stars, including Naomi Campbell and Joan Smalls, who walked the runway honoring the fashion icon during Off-White’s Paris Fashion Week show. 

Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon and their two children, Grey and Lowe.

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