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Venus Williams Steps Off Court for Tennis-Themed Fashion Launch

By Tracy Block March 22, 2012, 11:58 AM EDT

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes faced off on a green tennis-court cake.

Photo: Seth Browarnik/WorldRedEye.com

EleVen by Venus Williams Product Launch
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Tennis star Venus Williams is among the top players competing in this week's Sony Ericsson Open, but the athletic icon and longtime South Florida resident has also been keeping busy off the court. On Monday, Williams hosted the launch of her debut sportswear line, EleVen by Venus Williams, with a garden party at the Bath Club in Miami.

“The line took six months to complete, from start to finish,” said Williams, who named influences like Polo by Ralph Lauren as her inspiration for the 11 core looks, which feature geometric patters and signature sayings like ”You Got 'Em.”

The intimate launch party invited 100 special guests, including Williams’ sister and doubles partner, Serena, and actress Gabrielle Union. The decor and theme of the outdoor garden party matched the EleVen line by featuring black-and-white patterns along with tennis-ball-yellow elements. Inspired by the clothing line, designer Anders Ruff created eye-catching printables for tray liners, mixed nut cups, cocktail straws, place cards, and water bottle wrappers.

Williams, a strict vegan, selected the food and beverages. Upon arrival, guests were offered Berry Upbeet smoothies by Jamba Juice (of which Williams is a co-partner). Other beverages included Talbott Teas in Blissful Blueberry, steeped and bottled with themed stoppers for the event, and a specialty Grey Goose “honey deuce” cocktail. Passed vegan bites courtesy of Le Basque included mini seitan burgers, sweet corn pancakes, and a trio of mini cupcakes with lemon icing in tennis-ball form.

Williams concluded the party by taking to the Bath Club's private tennis court and hitting a few volleys with delighted guests.

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