Fashion's new WAG

Fashion designer Winonah de Jong (above) is married to AC Milan's Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong.
Fashion designer Winonah de Jong (above) is married to AC Milan's Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MILAN • Move over, Victoria Beckham, there is a new WAG on the fashion block.

Winonah de Jong, wife of AC Milan's Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, says she is realising a "little girl's dream" after making the leap from blogging about fashion to designing her own line of clothes.

Inevitably, some will suspect a vanity project, an overspill from the surplus millions splashing around in football. And the bombastic publicity material for the launch of the "Winonah" line at Milan Fashion Week does nothing to dispel such scepticism.

The Surinam-born 34-year-old is described as an "exotic beauty with an innate sense of style" as well as a "Dutch celebrity, style icon, trendsetter and social media star".

The description of her line might make people think it is aimed exclusively at WAGs - Wives And Girlfriends, the dismissive term coined in Britain for the usually glamorous partners of millionaire footballers.

The collection is, they say, one that "doesn't shy away from daring colours, cuts, openings and captivating transparencies, or unexpected slits for a stunning red carpet arrival".

In person, however, Winonah could not seem further removed from the caricature of an egotistical, empty-headed footballer's wife.

She likes dressing up and admits her evening wear will be beyond most people's reach.

"But I am also quite tomboyish and I am a mother. Sometimes I just want to wear jeans and a T-shirt. I think you will find something for everyone in the collection."

The mother of two graduated from a Dutch fashion college, but she says her standing on social media did not make her believe she could emulate Beckham's success.

She acknowledges that it helped in terms of giving her confidence that there is a market for her vision.

"My fans would really love to see a product that I made, that I designed," she says.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2015, with the headline 'Fashion's new WAG'. Print Edition | Subscribe