Image: Serena Williams for KP Sanghvi
Travellers to the JCK show in Las Vegas were greeted with a somewhat enigmatic image at McCarren Airport: a woman with a finger on her lips saying “Shhhhhh“. She is the tennis superstar Serena Williams.
The Serena Williams line of jewellery is designed for the market of self-purchases and women’s gifts. It will be available in stores from the third quarter of this year. Prices start at $299 and will go up to $10,000.
KP Sanghvi (an Indian sightholder) was approached by Serena Williams’ representatives last year. This line is an opportunity to team up with a 23-time Grand Slam winner and four-time Olympic gold medalist, particularly admired by young consumers. A recent YouGov survey ranked her as the most popular contemporary sports celebrity.
“When you look at her popularity, it’s very high. Very close to the level of Michael Jordan and LeBron James,” explains Russell Schachter, Senior Vice President of Sales at KP Sanghvi. “We have talked to a lot of people and everyone has a very positive perception of her. But they see her differently. When you talk to young women, they see her as a mother. When you talk to men, they see her as a great athlete. When you talk to other people, they see her as a businesswoman. She has a great power of seduction.”
Laura Rubin, Vice President of Marketing, adds: “We don’t see her as a tennis player. We see her as a female icon. Women between the ages of 25 and 40 love and admire her. Our dream is that they love our jewellery and the space they occupy in the jewellery store and buy it for themselves and their loved ones.”
Serena Williams also has a clothing line and has joined a variety of brands, from Nike to Beats. But she obviously has high expectations of jewellery. “She has worn many pieces in her competitions and has a lot of knowledge of the industry,” says Schachter, “insisting that the diamonds in the collection are of natural and ethical origin.”
The line will initially consist of necklaces and rings, although a product seems to be a no-brainer. What Schachter calls “a reinvention of tennis bracelet“. Schachter believes that Serena Williams is ideally placed to give this category a new lease of life.
“At this year’s U.S. Open, there will be pictures of her wearing the bracelet,” says Schachter.
“The line will also include a charity component to be determined, which Williams also insisted on,” says Schachter.
“This collection is a wonderful celebration of strong women around the world. I am very grateful for the opportunity to bring a little bit of sparkle and joy to special moments. I hope my creations will inspire people to love themselves, to believe in themselves and, of course, to enjoy themselves,” says Serena Williams about this initiative.