Serena Williams Paired Business & Glamour With This Enviable Updo

A total winner.

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Serena Williams pink dress

If you thought Serena Williams had a jam-packed schedule and high-flying life during her legendary tennis career, it might pale in comparison to her latest personal chapter. She officially retired from the court back in fall 2022, but she’s barely had a minute of downtime since. She’s been working on a number of major new projects, including her just-launched beauty brand, WYN, and serving as the subject of an acclaimed ESPN docuseries. Somehow, Williams has managed to squeeze in a number of other public appearances in between it all, wearing an incredible outfit and hairstyle each time. Williams’ loose updo, for example, acted as the ultimate complement to her crispy white-and-black skirt set as she spoke at the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A guest of honor at the annual event, held in NOLA’s Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Williams took the stage as part of an Essence Festival x BeautyCon crossover panel. She discussed her newfound role in the beauty industry, and did so with a glamorous, modern take on classic businesswear, with the piled-heigh bun and iridescent blue eyeshadow to match. William’s updo was the centerpiece of the entire look, full of carefully placed curls, longer tendrils spilling down around her face.

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Erika Goldring/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

It’s a little sultry, a bit retro, and very much aligned with the superstar athlete’s usual aesthetic. For the big panel, Williams turned to celebrity hairstylist Angela Meadows, the pro behind her recent rash of big, blonde curls and sleek wet-look waves. The key to Williams’ updo seems to be in the perfect balance of pinned-up pieces and those left to fall down on either side of her center-part.

The spangly addition of that iridescent, almost peacock-blue eyeshadow comes courtesy of celebrity makeup artist Sheika Daley, who works with all sorts of Williams’ A-list peers like Zendaya, Kelly Rowland, and Nicki Minaj. With summery bronzer through her cheeks and a set of fluttery lashes, Williams’ look is all business yet still so playful.

Considering Williams’ current aesthetic hot streak — and September’s month full of fashion shows just around the corner — you can safely place your bets on a few more recreation-worthy updos around the corner.