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Serena Williams’ Triumphant US Open Journey to Grand Slam History

Flushing Meadows, NY - The air is filled with anticipation, as kids from Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities Community Center from Corona, Queens, fill the Grandstand court waiting to meet the reigning US Open Women's Champion, Serena Williams.

The Back Story at the US OPEN 2014

It is Thursday afternoon of "Qualies" week and after participating in the Open "Draw Ceremony", the No.1 Women's Player in the world who had already appeared on Dave Letterman the day before, will be front and center during Arthur Ashe Kids Day in two days on Saturday. I mention these activities because I think we take for granted the Williams Sisters and Serena especially and the hefty responsibilities that she and her sister have carried for the better part of 15 years as the best of American tennis and never more so than now. It's amazing to watch them handle their media and philanthropic obligations, play singles and doubles in the same day, and on consecutive days. It really shows how strong-willed they are, their incredible commitment, sacrifice and desire to win and how important it is to have that strong family bond that their parents created from the start. It's also been a real boon, as fan favorites, to the entertainment value of each day's US Open ticket, to have them as part of the daily draw.

An unfortunate casualty of the first round draw was pitting the defending champ against American Junior Champion, Taylor Townsend of Chicago. The eighteen year old lefty, as an American and African American, may have made some noise in the tournament, if not for playing her mentor and friend in the opening round. That is correct, I said friend, as we confirmed in Serena's first interview, when asked What was your initial reaction when you found out you were opening against top ranked junior, Taylor Townsend?

"Yeah it's going to be a great match for me," said Serena. "She's such a great player. Extremely young, I have been able to see her play a little bit. She does everything really, really well. We're really good friends. We always talk and always text each other. It's going to be a really tough match for me."

I followed by asking about her thoughts on the history that lay ahead.

"You talked after winning the Western & Southern, you feel like you could play for a long time," I said. "If you get to 22 or 23 Grand Slam titles might you decide to hang them up?"

"Well, that would be just really amazing if I can make it that far,' she said. "Competition is a little stiff now, so I have to do the best I can and I can't even think that far to be honest."

Watch Video: Serena Williams on Getting to 22 or 23 Grand Slams

"Well would you consider it an unsuccessful year if you don't win a Grand Slam," I asked.

"Probably, yes," Serena stated. "But there's always next year and the year after, so I don't necessarily – you don't give up. You just keep going and you keep fighting to continue to win more."

Watch Video: Serena Williams on If She Didn't Win a Grand Slam This Year

How is your school in Kenya going," I asked switching the subject.

"It's going good," responded Serena. "We just had a great update. We built a new building. It's been really, really amazing".

A reporter asked Serena that a couple of people had heard that she was having a show for Aneras in a couple of months and asked if she could talk about it.

"Yeah, no; I'm having a fashion show for Serena's Signature Statement and I'm launching Aneras," Serena Williams responded. "They are two totally separate fashion lines. This show we are doing for fashion week, New York has always been a dream of mine to have a fashion show at NY Fashion Week. We are doing the collection that sold on HSN for Serena's Signature Statement. We have casted the models and it's been a really great experience. I'm really excited and nervous at the same time to see the reactions and hopefully we'll get a full house."

Watch Serena Williams talk about her fashion line, Serena's Signature Statement

During her early matches Serena's biggest challenge was the unpredictable winds that made consistent serving difficult, until adjustments could be made, but her opponents never really threatened her, as she never conceded more than 3 games in any set, winning each match in straight sets as she did in two previous title wins. Although she hadn't really been tested in the singles and unfortunately lost in the doubles with sister Venus, this is the first Grand Slam all year that she had reached the Singles Quarterfinal round and it showed as she raised her arms in victory over Kaia Kanepi in the 4th Round and gave a ball to an adoring fan and emphatically declared to the cheering crowds "I made it to the Quarterfinals!" And with all that was riding on it, it seemed like destiny, here's what was at stake.

The milestones are historic:
-15th Anniversary of her first Grand Slam victory, and US Open - the 1999 US Open.
-18th Grand Slam Title which ties her with Chris Evert & Martina Navratilova, for fourth all time. Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22), Helen Wills Moody (19)
-She is a three-peat US Open Champion, winning the Open 3 years in a row.
-Her 6th US Open Title overall, tying Chris Evert for top honors.
-At 32, Serena continues to extend her reign as the Women's Champion with the greatest number of years between her first and last titles (15)
-She is the 2014 Emirates Airlines US Open Series Champion winning an additional $1MM and Serena's prize money has made Women's Tennis history, taking home a record $3MM check for a new highest payday in tennis and wining $4MM total after clinching the title. She already holds the previous record at $3.6MM, with Rafael Nadal, for winning it last year.

In our last interview we asked her what we know everyone's been dying to know.

"Does the new leopard print outfits mean the "catsuit" might be making a comeback," I asked.

"That's a good question," said Serena. "We all loved the catsuit; at least I did."

"Gives us hope," I responded.

"Keep hope alive," Serena added.

"Where is the catsuit," another reporter inquired.

"Yeah, I have all of my outfits. I saw it the other day actually in my closet, Serena said.

"Sounds like a hashtag campaign," I added.

"Right," Serena concurred and then added, "Of course hashtags didn't exist back then."

So please hit us up at #411SportsTV and join the #BringBackSerenaWilliamsCatsuit campaign.

Watch Serena Williams Talk About Her Famous Catsuit

All jokes aside, Serena Williams' victory in the US OPEN 2014 Women's Final over close friend Caroline Wozniaki (6-3, 6-3) was another seminal moment in arguably the greatest female athlete's career ever and it makes us even more excited about 2015 and going down under to Australia...we'll see ya there.

  • Published in Tennis

Trailblazing Beauty Entrepreneur Supports Emerging Fashion Designers

WATCH VIDEO: Kim Roxie, youngest African-American woman to launch a beauty brand at Macy's

Kim Roxie, Founder and Creative Director, Lamik Beauty, has a great deal to smile about. Ms. Roxie, one of the sponsors of EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show, is the youngest African-American woman to launch a brand at Macy's.

Ms. Roxie, the best brand ambassador a company could have, spoke to What's The 411's Barbara Bullard about LAMIK Beauty's unique position in the marketplace.

EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show is produced by Dionne Williams, Owner, D. Williams Public Relations Group. The EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show has become one of the top emerging designer platforms during New York Fashion Week and has been consistent in providing a national outlet for emerging designers to showcase their work.

EMERGE! Rises During New York Fashion Week

Now in its 5th season, EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show positioned an eclectic ensemble of artists and a gathering of celebrities on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 during New York Fashion Week.

The celebs that stopped by to talk with What's The 411's Barbara Bullard were:

• Honoree Mikki Taylor who attended EMERGE! wearing Burberry. She indicated that she is following First Lady Michelle Obama's lead by wearing simple designs that go a long way.

• Actress Regina Taylor has written a play that will debut in September 2013.

• Actress/Comedienne Phyllis Yvonne Stickney developed a company with her brother. She will be going on tour soon and developing a program for youth.

• Glam Fairy Shari Manon from the Style Network indicated she is there to see new talent.

• Ruby Rubero wearing the designs of Hannefah M began her professional music career as the voice of the Bratz TV Cartoon Anthem titled "Se Siente" (Universal, Hip-O Music), which was also one of the highest selling cartoon albums internationally. Ruby is coming out with a new single, Runway, which is scheduled for release on March 12.

• Kim Roxie is the founder of the cosmetic line, Lamik. She is the youngest African American to have a cosmetic line in Macy's. Kim Roxie is honored to be an ongoing sponsor of EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show especially during African American History Month.

The featured designers of EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show's 5th season were:

Bishme Cromartie's collection is edgy sophistication; His well-constructed pieces owned the runway with incredible design elements. His collection was cohesive and yet unafraid to take risks. www.bishmercromartie.com

Parul Aneja's collection adorned the runway vibrant colors inspired by her homeland of New Delhi, the capital of India she specializes in wedding gowns, cocktail dresses, prom and evening wear dresses for women. www.parulaneja.com

Deidre Jefferies, ESPION Atelier - 'ESPION' French for the English word 'spy' Deidre Jefferies defines her design aesthetic as "the future of classic clothing." This strong, yet sexy collection embodied a sleek sophistication combining male and female elements into a luxury line committed to quality. www.espion.us.com

Bernice Morgan, Designersberg is a full line of beautiful African dresses custom made in a variety of materials including cotton prints, damask, lace and linens came down the runway with a fresh take on modern ethnic wear, Africa. www.designersberg.com

Butterfli Tia's swimwear collection 2-A-T came down the runway making a bold statement. Complete with sexy embellishments, highlighting well-crafted pieces and bold color choices.

EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show has become one of the top emerging designer platforms during New York Fashion week and has been consistent in providing a national outlet for emerging designers to showcase their work. Hundreds of designer submissions are reviewed by an elite designer committee, which selects some of the top designers from around the world.

Barbara Bullard contributed to this article.

India de Beaufort Makes a Splash at Emerge Fashion Runway Show

Watch Video: India de Beaufort talks about her designs at a New York Fashion Week showcase

India de Beaufort, an actress/fashion designer, spoke to What's The 411's Barbara Bullard about her 'Ballyhoo' collection in the EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show. Ballyhoo is inspired by India de Beaufort's love of all things period, all things Parisian, and her cherished and ever-growing collection of Vintage and Antique clothing.

EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show is produced by Dionne Williams, Owner, D. Williams Public Relations Group. The EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show has become one of the top emerging designer platforms during New York Fashion Week and has been consistent in providing a national outlet for emerging designers to showcase their work.

Beautifully Sustainable Brooklyn

VIDEO: Beautifully Sustainable Brooklyn Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week displays an upcycled redesign of vintage clothing

 

What's The 411 TV Correspondent, Crystal L. Henderson, travels to Parks Slope Brooklyn to attend the Beautifully Sustainable Brooklyn Fashion Show.

It's New York Fashion Week and Ashley McAleavy, Founder and Designer, Remedy LLC, takes us on a journey through the redesign of vintage clothing. Everything old becomes new again through McAleavy's process of upcycling vintage clothing, revamping it so that it looks like it came from the hottest boutique. In effect turning what could be trash into real treasures.

Soledad Haren, Founder of Build a Better Planet discusses the need for sustainability strategies.

My Girlfriend's Closet Brings Glamour to New York Fashion Week

First-cousins Saffiyah Rodgers and Valerie Morrison grew up lending clothes to their girlfriends. In 2010, they combined their fashion and marketing backgrounds and came up with a closet.

"Our friends admired our style and always wanted to borrow stuff from our closet, so we decided to come up My Girlfriend's Closet."

Rodgers and Morrison spoke with What's The 411 TV's correspondent, Crystal Henderson during New York Fashion Week S/S 2013 at Stitch Lounge, where they celebrated the second anniversary of My Girlfriends Closet Boutique and unveiled their online campaign, My Glamorous Girlfriends.

My Glamorous Girlfriends represents five successful women--daring to be different, while embodying glamour.

The fab women-- Dr. Robi Ludwig (NBC Today Show & Huffington Post), Carissa Rosario (International Model & Model Genius), Angela Yee (Radio Personality on Power 105.1), Tiffany Banks (Plus Size Model & TLC's Big Sexy) and Brianna Colette (Recording Artist).

Dr. Robi Ludwig (so cool and down to earth) also stopped by to speak with us and expressed how thrilled she was to be a part of My Glamorous Girlfriends.

"I was invited to highlight my clothes during a media company (for My Girlfriend's Closet) and we had a great time that day. A bunch of ladies having a lovely time, and it was exactly what it needed to be."

Every girl wants something from her girlfriend's closet; be sure to visit www.gfcboutique.com!

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO!

Dionne Williams Creates a Platform for Emerging Fashion Designers

EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show is produced by Dionne Williams, Owner, D. Williams Public Relations Group.

The EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show has become one of the top emerging designer platforms during New York Fashion Week and has been consistent in providing a national outlet for emerging designers to showcase their work.

Dionne Williams spoke to What's The 411's Barbara Bullard about the genesis of EMERGE!, the fact that the show is only two years old and that the designers come from all over the world.

Aaron Handy and Iran "Bang" Paylor were production designers for the show.

EMERGE! Runway Fashion Show A New York Fashion Week Standout

EMERGE! Runway Fashion Show an awesome Platform for emerging fashion designers during New York Fashion Week

What's The 411 Co-Host, Barbara Bullard, covered one of the leading emerging designer collective showcases during New York Fashion Week, the EMERGE! Fashion Runway Show.

EMERGE! A Fashion Runway Show is produced by D. Williams Public Relations Group and has become one of the top emerging designer platforms during New York Fashion Week and has been consistent in providing a national outlet for emerging designers to showcase their work.

Barbara interviewed Dionne Williams, Owner, D. Williams Public Relations and the Creative Producer of EMERGE!. Dionne discussed the genesis of EMERGE!, the fact that the show is only two years old and that the designers come from all over the world.

India de Beaufort, an actress/fashion designer showcased 'Ballyhoo,' which is inspired by her love of all things period, all things Parisian, and her cherished and ever-growing collection of Vintage and Antique clothing.

Designer Taneasha Prunty of Gidi Designs started sewing by hand at the age of five. A "sucker for lace", Ms. Prunty believes that every woman looks good in lace if worn properly and every woman should have lace in her closet.

Known for her over-the-top eveningwear, Ms. Prunty showcased a more relaxed daywear line, which still includes feminine touches and elegant details that still make the pieces look polished.

Nicole, an accessory designer, and Archie, a model and event organizer, talked about their participation in the show. Nicole provided Taneasha Prunty of Gidi Designs with custom jewelry to accessorize her designs. The jewelry has a country vineyard theme with lavish colors, wire wrapping, crystals, and semi-precious stones.

Archie, a model and event organizer, came to the show to support Berny Martin of Catou. Archie is holding a fundraising event in December 2012, in Haiti to support education in Haiti. The show will also be held in Japan, Dubai, and other countries.

An enthusiastic Aaron Handy, along with Iran "Bang" Paylor (not interviewed) handled all of the backstage logistics including model management, casting, hair, make-up, and order of the show, all of which makes for a good show to the audience.

Brigid Turner, a former EMERGE! model is now Director of Operations. Brigid spoke about her role in the audition process and pairing up models with designers so every designer has the right model to showcase their designs.

Lastly, Kim Roxie, Founder and Creative Director, Lamik Beauty, is one of the sponsors of EMERGE! As a young entrepreneur, Kim Roxie is very proud to support emerging designers.

In addition to India de Beaufort and Taneasha Prunty, the video also features the designs of Temna Fialka, Franklin Rowe International; Berny Martin – Catou Designs, and Arefeh Mansouri of Arefeh Fashion.

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