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Serena Williams Lincoln

Behind the Wheel with Serena Williams

The tennis icon partners with Lincoln to focus on the design, beauty, and experience of letting go.

Tamara Warren

14 December 2023

Serena Williams Lets Go with Lincoln

On the tennis court, Serena Williams shifted and merged the culture of sports and design over the course of her iconic on-court career. Her keen ability to inspire through design language is manifesting in her clothing brand, S by Serena, her jewelry line, and in the thoughtful pairings that she builds into her many partnerships. One brand partner that Williams has invested time in is Lincoln Motor Company, which is all about her love for driving as a form of relaxation. Williams says she drives her daughter Olympia around as one way to wind down from her hectic schedule.

Lincoln released a creative spot featuring Williams’s driving in the weeks leading up to the birth of her second child. The spot’s debut followed Lincoln’s support of National Relaxation Day, a holiday founded by a fourth grader in 1985, to encourage taking a day for mindful wellness. In the segment, Williams demos hands-free driving using a new driver assistance tech called Lincoln Blue Cruise. She lifts her hands from the wheel, as the car continues to carry along. What Williams does drives home messages in fashion, wellness, and beyond.

We spoke to Williams about her thoughts on getting behind the wheel, letting go, and the role design plays in shaping an environment.

Serena Williams on the Experience of the Drive

WHITEWALL: When you are driving, what is on your mind these days?

SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, driving alone is a time when I can reflect and enjoy the sanctuary of my Lincoln Navigator. Of course, I stay focused on the road—that’s the most important—but I really try to use those moments to recharge. With the busy schedule, I do have, oftentimes driving home after dropping Olympia off at school is the only alone time I get, so I try to make my drives as peaceful as possible.

WW: As a world-class competitor who has such a track record for leading, what does it feel like to let go? The creative in the ad suggests, floating hands-free driving gives you that sensation of releasing. How do you train your mind to relax?

SW: Letting go can be scary, it’s a skill that has taken me a long time to master, whether I’m letting go of one phase of my career or letting go of responsibility at the office. Once you finally do let go, it’s the best feeling. It’s like riding a rollercoaster and floating in a still body of water all at once.  

Serena Williams Lincoln

Serena Williams, courtesy of Lincoln.

The Sports Icon is All About Details

WW: You’ve spoken about your feelings on the senses, such as smell, touch, and texture. What do you seek out? Do you notice your taste shifting at different times of your life?

SW: I am ALL about details. I think that’s why I love design so much. I really enjoy creating feelings or experiences based on the fabrics, colors, smells and sounds around you. My taste definitely evolves and shifts over time– and it’s invigorating. It keeps me curious. 

How Serena Williams Unwinds

WW: What are some of your favorite roads or areas to drive and unwind

SW: I love driving along the water when the sun is just beginning to set…it’s the best time to roll your windows down and sing along to your favorite music or just reflect on your day. 

 WW: Who is your favorite driving companion? 

SW: Olympia is definitely my favorite person to go on car rides with. We have so much fun singing along to her favorite songs or Disney soundtracks…believe it or not our taste in music is pretty similar.

SAME AS TODAY

FURTHER READING

A Pretty Cool Drive with Lincoln on the Lincoln Highway

Travel photographers Margaret and Corey Bienert take on a classic America road trip in a Lincoln, from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Lincoln and Shinola Team Up to Design a New Aviator Concept

Lincoln's design director Kemal Curic spoke with Whitewall about its collaboration with Shinola.

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Travel photographers Margaret and Corey Bienert take on a classic America road trip in a Lincoln, from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Lincoln's design director Kemal Curic spoke with Whitewall about its collaboration with Shinola.

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