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Calling all designers, Serena Williams is looking for you!

Searching for the next big thing
The tennis pro launches a design apprenticeship with Nike to tap into New York City’s emerging talents…

Ever wondered what it would be like to not only meet Serena Williams, but to work alongside her? Well, 10 lucky New York City-based designers will get to turn this dream into a reality thanks to a new design challenge sponsored by the tennis pro and sportswear giant Nike.

A group of forty applicants from schools, institutions as well as collectives, such as Harlem’s Fashion Row, will be invited to Nike’s NYC Headquarters for a day of workshopping where they will complete a series of projects that will be vetted by Nike. A select group of 10 will then be invited to Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., in January to start a seven-month apprenticeship where they will be working towards designing a capsule project featuring Serena-inspired footwear and apparel.

Once at Nike, the apprentices can expect to be fully embedded within the organization’s design teams, working specifically within the tennis sub-group. Over the seven months they will spend in Oregon, they will be working towards designing a Williams-centric collection that performs on and off the courts,

“I’m excited for these designers to hone their craft, expand their creativity and ultimately dream big as they build on Nike’s design legacy in creating for one of the greatest athletes of all time,” says John Hoke, Chief Design Officer at Nike. “We know their impact will be widely felt and look forward to having them as part of our creative community.”

The aim of the apprenticeship is to not only find the best emerging talents in the design sphere, but to further Nike’s efforts in bringing “diverse perspectives to design,” which also includes Nike x Design, a six-month apprenticeship program for emerging product designers throughout greater Los Angeles.

The collection will be available spring 2021.

Now, discover what Mario Dedivanovic and KKW have up their beauty sleeve.

Text by Dina Kabbani