Like a lot of today's top women tennis players Maria Sharapova has developed a career outside tennis.
She is a collaborative designer for Cole Haan and also spokesmodel for their advertising campaign. She first collaborated with the company in the Spring of 2009 when they launched their first sporting line.
But the 22-year-old is not just a figurehead for the company, she works closely with the design team from start to finish.
She said, "I love the creative process and work closely with the designers from start to finish from initial sketches to choosing materials, naming the styles to seeing the final products."
She now has her own collection of handbags and shoes for Cole Haan and the 2011 range has recently come out.
Sharapova said, "My new Cole Haan official page collection has finally arrived. I am really excited, this is the best collection we have done so far. The campaign photo shoot was really fun."
In the shoot she wore a cute tutu dress and strappy high-heeled sandals and was surrounded by Cole Haan accessories.
Sharapova said, "This is a project I have been dreaming about. I love design so designing a line of handbags and shoes has been a dream of mine ever since I was young.
"It really represents my every day, I can be on the plane, coming off a press conference and I need to have accessories that really match my lifestyle."
James Seuss the Chief Executive Officer of Cole Haan said, "Maria Sharapova embodies the blend of fashion and support that makes Cole Haan sporting unique."
The Spring/Summer shoe collection includes
- Strappy sandals both high-heeled and flat
- Open-toe slingbacks
- Gladiator Sandals
- Open toe high-heeled court shoes
When Sharapova was in Florida for the Sony Ericsson Miami Open she swapped her sporting gear for a floral mini skirt, white blouse and grey and black silk waistcoat to visit the Cole Haan store in the village at Merrick Park in Coral Gables.
Wearing open toe wedges from her own collection Sharapova was there to see her own Spring collection on view.
In a question and answer session with Vogue stylist Anne Vincent she said. "I get a lot of ideas from my travels, I love seeing how girls in different outfits carry their bag or create outfits around their shoes.
"The Spring collection is a welcome change from winter boots. The transition from winter to Spring is always one of my favourites."
Sharapova's collection is a fusion of fashion that reflects her lively lifestyle and she has stamped her signature by colouring the outsoles of her footwear in her favourite colour blue.
In November 2010 at the annual Ace Awards the Accessories Council honoured Cole Haan and Maria Sharapova with the Brand Collection Award.
When Sharapova marries her fiancÚ, Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Sasha Vujacic she will be designing her own wedding shoes. She has not decided yet whether they will be flat or with heels as it depends on the dress she chooses.
Standing at 6' 2" she is used to wearing flats but as her husband-to-be is 6' 7" she has no worries about wearing heels for her wedding.