Queens In Queens
QUEEN IN QUEENS
Let me start at the beginning, I’m a Swiss Chilean photographer born and raised in a small town in Switzerland. I spent a year in NYC doing what I loved, connecting with people, taking a lot of pictures and pursuing my dreams. Fast forward to August 23rd 2018, I was able to take part in the Virgil Abloh and Serena Williams collection Release for Nike. The show was held at West Side Tennis Club in Queens, New York. The tennis club's practice courts were decorated with white flowers, banners featuring quotes from Serena, and a display of the Serena Williams x Virgil Abloh x Nike 'Queen' collection, which featured pastel tutus, inspired by Serena's love of dance, and a sleek matte black jacket and the Iconic Queen Sneakers. It started with young girls from the West Side Tennis Club playing on the court, all with the word 'Queen' printed on the back of their shirts.
They even played against Serena. The court was filled with love and appreciation. Serena and Virgil both had such raw and shining energy. The way they presented themselves was so full of gratitude and strength. It was an afternoon full of inspirations, full of people I have been inspired by for years like London Zhiloh or Photographer Renell Medrano and of course Serena herself. I had the feeling, like everybody was genuinely happy to be there and live in this moment. Grateful to experience not only a bunch of creatives coming together, but also different female creatives inspiring each other. To me, taking pictures came so easily that day. The whole set up was made with so much detail, that any part of it was worth shooting. I not only shot digital but also film because I wanted to challenge my mind by shooting analog in such a fast paced situation, since it takes more time to figure out what you want to shoot and how you want to capture it when shooting analog.
After Virgil and Serena answered questions and talked about the collection, they started talking about their motivation in general. One thing that Virgil said about the key to success that stuck with me was: „The only piece of advice that works 100% of the time is just to work hard and try. If you do those two things you will not fail. I was always looking for this magic piece of advice, like ok that just sounds like what everybody says, tell me the truth. But it’s just waking up in the morning and, while you could spend time doing other things, just focus on what your goal is: If it’s to be the best tennis player – its training all day. And gradually over one or two years you’ll slowly start seeing these really high goals come true. “
Queen in Queens. Such a strong statement. Being there gave me so much hope and inspiration for women in the future. Like Virgil, Serena's tennis career has also provided a blueprint for young girls, especially black girls, to model their career off of, one that Serena believes can be applied to any young person looking to dominate any industry. For me getting up and working on my dream to be a photographer got one step closer by being able to shoot at this event.