Serena Williams says her fashion line has to be of the "highest quality" for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
The 37-year-old tennis star has been friends with the former actress – who was known as Meghan Markle before marrying Prince Harry last year – for several years and the sportswoman claims her standards threshold is for the garments to be "fit for a royal princess" after the royal was spotted in the S by Serena boss blazer back in October during her royal tour of Australia.
She said: "Listen, if we’re giving our stuff to Meghan, it has to be the highest quality that we can get. So, that’s what I tell our team internally: ‘We have to make sure it’s super high quality that, you know, is fit for a royal princess!’
"I’ve been trying for years and years to do something in fashion. I’ve been doing this for so long and it’s never hit. It’s so easy when you’re so successful at something else to just do that and keep being amazingly successful at it. But that’s not the story I wanted to tell. And I always felt like if I didn’t at least do it one more time, a 100% with my backing, that I would always have some sort of regret."
Serena has "always loved fashion" and recalled when her mother, Oracene Price, would make clothes from patterns she found in Vogue magazine.
She told the Business of Fashion: "I’ve always loved fashion. I remember when I was a kid, my mom used to make all our outfits. Back then, they had Vogue patterns. I would always see her pinning them and making all our clothes. And she taught us how to sew early on. So, I used to sew clothes for my dolls out of old socks and I would cut them up and make little outfits out of them."
The 23-time Grand Slam champ – who studied fashion at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida from 2000 to 2003 – also confessed that her own fashionista training came in handy when she swapped pattern making for her professional tennis career.
She added: "I remember one time playing a tournament and, after I won, I put on a skirt to take a picture and my skirt broke. Everyone in the locker room was like, ‘Oh, the seamstress left.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, did she leave her stuff?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah,’ so I said, ‘I’ll get it.’
"Yeah, it was just a simple stitch, you know, I could have hand-sewn it too," she says gamely. "And everyone’s jaws were on the floor!"