Athletes make a statement walking the runways during New York Fashion Week

The latest fashion collections were unveiled this week during Fall New York Fashion Week. All eyes were on new concepts and design innovations from brands like Telfar, Rebecca Minkoff, Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Nicholson, who dressed F1 driver Lewis Hamilton for last year’s Met Gala. The festivities included star-studded events to preview upcoming clothing lines.

However, it was the athletes who stole the show.

Serena Williams and Usain Bolt were among the many sports stars who walked the catwalk during the week.

Fellow pros Elaine Thompson-Herah, Kyle Kuzma and Katie Lou Samuelson made fashion statements as they walked the runway for Puma. Other WNBA stars, DiDi Richards and Isabelle Harrison, had their shining moments throughout the week.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Usain Bolt walks the runway at PUMA presents Futrograde during New York Fashion Week at Cipriani 25 Broadway on September 13, 2022 in New York City.  (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)

Serena Williams

Williams, who debuted her S by Serena collection at New York Fashion Week in 2019, modeled a custom metallic cape dress designed by Balenciaga to open the Vogue World runway. Fresh from her last appearance at the US Open, she walked past four ball boys in white tennis dresses, complete with tennis rackets.

Discussing her own fashion line, Williams told USA TODAY that her new collection is designed for everyday comfort.

“My mindset is to design with people in mind and not let any barriers stop you,” Williams said.

Usain Bolt

Bolt was on the runway at Puma’s Futrograde show to showcase the athletic company’s new clothing line. The Olympic gold medalist wore a smart tuxedo with the iconic Puma signature on the lapel. She broke out with her signature pose and her signature smile at the end of the runway to close the show.

“It’s definitely different walking,” Bolt said. “I was following all the models. They said to slow down and enjoy the moment. So I did.”

Elaine Thompson-Herah

Thompson-Herah also walked in Puma’s Futrograde show. She signed with Puma in July. The reigning 100m and 200m Olympic gold medalist wore a zip-up leotard, jacket and thigh-high boots.

She said that she is excited to represent the brand.

“Puma felt like the perfect place, a company that has been working with the fastest man in the world for decades,” Thompson-Herah said after signing. “I’m excited to be part of an elite group and can’t wait to get started.”

Katie Lou Samuelson

The Los Angeles Sparks star put a unique spin on New York Fashion Week. She showed off a two-tone brown ensemble with white Puma sneakers. She also wore a beanie to finish off the look. Samuelson joined Puma in 2019 after being selected fourth overall in the WNBA Draft.

Kyle Kuzma

Kuzma modeled an all-black outfit with a hood accompanied by a black skirt. Her shirt looked like a T-shirt with a white-rimmed outline. The Washington Wizards forward averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 66 games last season. He signed a five-year contract with Puma from 2019.

didi richards

The New York Liberty star made her New York Fashion Week debut walking for mother-daughter brand Dur Doux. She wore an orange tie dye dress as other WNBA players cheered her on in the front row. Richards has made a name for herself as a fashionista off the court and her role as his model made a lot of sense.

“This is within her realm, and I am so proud of her,” said teammate Michaela Onyenwere. “Now that I’ve seen exactly what [Dur Doux is] capable of producing, this is exactly where you need to be.

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Elizabeth Harrison

Harrison showed off an outfit for Kim Shui’s show. The Dallas Wings star wore a criss-cross black top with a flowing purple skirt. She opened up about the experience on Instagram and explained how she pushed herself to participate in the show despite spraining her ankle just three weeks ago.

“I saw the heels she had to wear for the show and my heart sank,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it off. But knowing that I’ve waited for this moment my whole life, that wasn’t going to stop my dream from coming true…it still doesn’t feel real.”