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Venus Williams On Her Hamptons Collaboration, Competing In The Olympics And Her Design Inspiration

Nicole Barylski

Venus Williams stands in front of Rio inspired fabrics. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

On Tuesday, June 21st, Holiday House Hamptons, presented by HC&G, hosted a sunset cocktail party with tennis superstar Venus Williams. The soiree took place on the Rooftop Tennis Court, which was designed by Williams' V Starr Interiors.

Hamptons.com caught up with the busy Williams, who was heading to Wimbledon after the event. "It was a collaboration for V Starr Interiors and EleVen by Venus Williams, so you can see a full array of fabrics from different collections that we've done," Venus Williams told Hamptons.com about the outdoor living space she designed for the Holiday House Hamptons. "The inspiration was Rio, because, of course, that's on everyone's mind. I'm going to be honored enough to go, so I just kind of created that atmosphere out here in the outdoor living, and Rio is so fun and vibrant. I wanted to bring that to the house."

When asked what it means to be able to represent the USA in the Olympics, she told us it meant "everything" to her. "This is my fifth opportunity to do so. There's one thing about going to the Olympics; you're always an Olympian, for the rest of your life," she said. "There's no better feeling."

The soiree took place on the Rooftop Tennis Court, which was designed by Williams' V Starr Interiors. (Photo: Richard Lewin for HC&G)

If you're wondering how the tennis player, clothing designer, and interior designer finds the time to pursue all her passions, she credits her dedicated support group. "I have a great team that steps up to the plate and we collaborate, and we all play our parts," said Williams. "It's great to have wonderful people to work with, because you can't do it alone, no matter who you are."

Her continuous travel for tennis often leads to finding a new muse. "I am very inspired," she said about her trips. "I get to see so many types of design, no matter where I go. It just sparks your process."

Before Williams graciously met and took photos with attendees, the crowd heard from Holiday House Founder, Iris Dankner. "I'm an interior designer, but I'm also a 19 year breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at my first routine mammogram, at age 40," Dankner told guests. "It was after my diagnosis that I found out that early detection saved my life, and I vowed from that moment on that I would do anything I could to eradicate this disease." The creation of Holiday House was fate. "About nine years ago, I decided, how can I tie my two passions together? My passion for interior design and my passion to eradicate this deadly disease," Danker said. "And I had a dream, and it was actually Holiday House. That's how it was born."

Holiday House Founder Iris Dankner, Venus Williams and C&G Media Group CEO Marianne Howatson. (Photo: Richard Lewin for HC&G)

For the Holiday House Founder, Williams' visit was icing on the cake. "When we first found this house, when we walked through, Michelle and I, and we came up to this spectacular tennis court, I said, 'Oh my God. Could you imagine having Venus up here?' Let's get her up to design," she explained. "We are so pleased to be launching the V Starr design up on this tennis court."

Proceeds from Holiday House Hamptons support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). "This event has really brought the design community, designers, and decorators from all over the world together to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which is the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide, and also the most highly rated breast cancer charity, with an A+ rating from CharityWatch and 91 cents on the dollar goes directly to research, and also a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator for 15 consecutive years," Lucretia Gilbert, Chief Development Officer of BCRF, told us.

The Holiday House Hamptons will be open from Sunday, June 19 through Tuesday, July 26th.

Holiday House Hamptons is located at 100 Crescent Avenue in Water Mill. For more information, visit www.holidayhousehamptons.com. For more information about V Starr Interiors, visit vstarrinteriors.com. For more information about the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, visit www.bcrfcure.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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