She has a big match coming up - an exhibition at New York's
Madison Square Garden in March - but Maria Sharapova is also
focused on fashion these days. The tennis star sat front row at
several big runway shows this week (Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta
and Marc Jacobs, to name a few), and is continually hard at work on
her Cole Haan accessories collection.
"I always imagined myself being involved in design, but I never
thought [others would show] such good interest in [my work]," she
tells PEOPLE. "I haven't even been in the business for that
Sharapova began designing footwear and handbags for the brand in
2008; brightly colored pumps, sandals and flats (like the Air Bacara Ballet, above) pepper her current
"Flats were the first shoe I wanted to design," she shares.
Given that she stands at 6-ft., 2-in., that definitely makes sense.
"My style is pretty laid back, but I do occasionally like to put on
To that end, the
bride-to-be finds lots of inspiration in her world travels -
"It's about the patterns, the way women carry their handbags, their
essential go-to shoes," she shares - and even delicate dancers.
"I have always been drawn to the details of the ballet," she
says, "from the lace on their shoes to the elegance and ease with
which they dance. That was everything this ballerina [flat]
represents to me."
So which shoe is she sweet on these days? Perhaps
unsurprisingly, it's not a heel. Says the star, "I spent a whole
month in Australia with warm weather, so I've been wearing my
silver glitter ballerinas."