Think November 2007. Remember when a smiley, giddy Venus Williams, holder of six majors at the time, was all over the place appearing at launch events and throwing parties for her first and only low-cost, mass market fashion collection called EleVen sold exclusively at Steve & Barry's? Ahhhh. Well, get over it because she has.
The company went bankrupt and was eventually liquidated leaving EleVen homeless and hungry and living solely on the back, both lit + fig, on V (well not if you count the random outfitting of Nadia Petrova.) That is, until now.
Here's an update on the fate of her collection from the World No. 3 herself during a reader Q & A for Sports Illustrated:
As for EleVen, this is really somewhat breaking news, but I will be partnering with The Gilt Group over the next year to host exclusive quarterly sales of the EleVen collection on Gilt.com/EleVen. The first sale is coming later this month before the U.S. Open. You will be able to find out the details, which are coming soon, on my website, Twitter and Facebook. We are also in advanced discussions with a retail partner and as soon as next summer you will likely be able to find EleVen at traditional retail outlets.
Good news for her. The Gilt Groupe has a big presence right now and they're pretty aggressive with their marketing including the promotion of the very popular daily sales. Although they've carried fashion and luxury brands primarily it looks like the company is moving into the sports-inspired groups including adidas Porsche Design Sport and now EleVen. Plus, it can't hurt to have a world-renowned celebrity athlete like V at the helm for PR purposes.
In terms of the future retail partner, Kohl's and JC Penny come to mind along with Target, though they've seemed to have fallen off a bit lately and have moved away from fashion collaborations. Stay tuned.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]