NEW YORK Tennis star Venus Williams has signed a deal to design and market a line of high-performance, lifestyle and active clothing and footwear exclusively for retailer Steve & Barry's.
Williams plans to wear items from the collection, called EleVen, while playing at the U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Steve & Barry's unveiled EleVen at a promotion Thursday at its Manhattan Mall store in New York, with Williams in attendance. However, the line itself will not hit shelves until November with a dedicated EleVen section within Steve & Barry's locations. As with all items at the retailer, clothing and shoes in the EleVen collection will be priced at $19.98 and less.
EleVen is the address where Williams grew up in Lynwood, Calif.
Williams will appear in marketing and make personal appearances; a dedicated Web site will link from www.SteveandBarrys.com.
Venus joins a growing stable of athletes and celebrities who have exclusive collections with the retailer, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Amanda Bynes, golfer Bubba Watson, Stefan Marbury and Ben Wallace of the Chicago Bulls, whose $14.95 Big Ben shoes will hit Steve & Barry's shelves to coincide with the start of the 2007-08 NBA season in October.
Williams, 27, studied fashion design at the Art Institute of Florida and previously designed clothing she has worn on-court, including a line for Wilson's Leather. She also has worn a line designed for her by Reebok. The deal with Port Washington, N.Y.-based Steve & Barry's was signed before she won the Wimbledon tennis tournament in July. Williams' agent is Carlos Fleming at IMG, Cleveland.