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Modern travel company Away, known for their durable, hard-shell suitcases in eye-catching designs, is partnering with Grand Slam-winning tennis icon Serena Williams to release a collection launching this week. Away x Serena Williams is actually the second collaboration between Away and Serena Williams, who is not only one of the most famous tennis players in history and an on-the-go working mother, but also has her own fashion line, Serena. The collection, which includes pieces like the Away x Serena Williams Jewelry Sleeve ($75), Printed Polycarbonate Suitcases (from $275), and Kid’s Carry-On ($175), among other new products, launches January 28, 2021.
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To gain further insight into the collection—and a few travel tips from a true jetsetter—Departures caught up with the tennis star herself, who said the travel and tournament moratorium has been an important time to spend with family. “I am actually very grateful to have been able to spend so much time at home this year,” said Williams on a 2020 spent largely grounded. “I can barely remember a time when I haven’t been jumping from city to city for tennis and work, so this break has actually been a special time to focus on my family.”
That said, Williams, like the rest of us, certainly has upcoming travel dreams, many of which include showing her daughter, Alexis Olympia, who goes by her middle name, more of the world. And, with the new collaboration, Olympia will certainly be traveling in style. “We didn’t have a Kid’s Carry-On in our first drop so I’m thrilled Olympia will now be able to have her very own matching suitcase!” Williams told Departures. “I also love the Pet Carrier in this collection and am thrilled my dog, Chip, can travel safely, and in style, alongside me.”
As for where the Williams-Ohanian family is heading first, Williams said that “after so much time spent in the Florida sun this year, I’m really dreaming about visiting a place with snow.” She also shared, when asked about her favorite destinations (for work and leisure).
“Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world, so I love traveling there for the French Open. When I’m not playing, my family and I love to go to the Bahamas.”
Williams travel ethos really does come out in this new collection. “I’m all about versatility and functionality when I travel, which this collection really speaks to. From bags, like the Convertible Backpack Tote and the Front Pocket Sling Bag that can be worn or carried multiple ways, to the accessories that allow you to pack more in, like the Expandable Packing Cubes and Expandable Toiletry Bag, we’ve really thought about every detail. For me, it’s all about finding the balance between style and function, and I think we nailed it with this collection.”
Williams, being no stranger to the world of high-concept design, drew inspiration from iconic destinations. “The colors and prints in the collection were inspired by my travels—specifically, the beautiful blues and greens of the ocean and the intricate details of buildings in Rome,” she said. “Working closely with the Away design team we were able to bring these inspirations to life.”
She also noted that “traveling as a family is also very important to me, so you’ll see several kid’s products in this collection like the matching Kid’s Carry-On and the Mini Convertible Backpack Tote.” She admitted that, “like many people, I’ve been dreaming of the world opening back up, so I wanted to bring to life a collection that not only speaks to Away’s functionality and my personal style, but also gets people really excited about their own future trips.”