“Somebody to Always Call On”: Celebrity Stylist Kesha McLeod Opens Up on Ties with Serena Williams

Published 03/21/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
Serena Williams attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)


Celebrity stylist Kesha McLeod has opened up on how her equation with tennis superstar Serena Williams has grown much beyond that of a globally renowned fashionista and a client.

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Kesha McLeod calls Serena Williams her mentor

In an interview with a leading American publication, McLeod, who has styled top names from the American music industry, NBA superstars, and of course, Serena, among others, said she regards the 23-time Grand Slam champion as her “mentor”.

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Introduced to Serena by retired NFL superstar Vernon Davis, McLeod bonded with the younger of the Williams tennis siblings like soul mates and it wasn’t long before their friendship extended to a fruitful professional tie-up.

She has been piecing Serena outfits since. From her wedding day, the Met Gala red carpet to her on-court appearance, McLeod has been the mind and maker behind the American’s bold fashion statements.

Among some of the much-talked-about pieces that she’s put together for Serena was the full-body catsuit at the 2018 French Open and the Virgil Abloh outfit that she slayed in at the US Open that year.

The stylist said in moments when she reckons she can do with a piece of advice, even on matters concerning her business, she inevitably turns to the champion.

“Even in pivotal business moments of my life, certain things, (she is) somebody to always call on,” McLeod said.

McLeod singled out styling Serena on the day of her wedding as one of her most notable accomplishments. She also did the dressing for Serena’s bridal party.

“Love and cherish our relationship”: Kesha McLeod

McLeod also contributes pieces to the tennis star’s clothing line while styling her for her Vanity Fair shoots.

She personally liaised with the teams of leading fashion houses Alexander McQueen and Versace to make sure her Met Gala and wedding ensembles turned out just right.

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As someone she often looks up to for professional advice, McLeod said she has “learned” a lot from Serena as well.

“I really do love and cherish our relationship,” the stylist said.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

826 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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