How Would Venus Williams Spend $1.4 Million?
We asked the Wimbledon ladies champ—the first ever to receive the same jackpot as her male counterpart—to blow her prize money in a New York shopping spree.
By Sarah Bernard
Serena and I have an apartment in New York and it’s not furnished, so I’d get that done. I wouldn’t design it myself; I’d have the girls from V Starr, my design company, do it. It’s hard work! I’d want a guitar for the apartment—a Gibson J45 acoustic ($8,000 for a vintage 1955 model at Matt Umanov). And a purple Fender Stratocaster ($6,000 at Sam Ash). Serena plays, too, so I’d get her a pink Fender Strat ($6,000 at Sam Ash). We’d have fun. For my room, a custom king-size mattress would be cool ($10,400 at Duxiana), and sheets from Frette ($6,950 for a Helena Limited six-piece set) and a Frette bathrobe ($550). Every girl’s got to have a bathrobe.
Once a year I go to Giuseppe Zanotti and buy all the shoes I want. Strappy shoes with big jeweled alligators or snakes or butterflies on them. I usually walk out with about twelve pairs ($7,800 for twelve). I keep them for life or until Serena steals some or my other sisters come and lift them. We’re all pretty much the same size, my mom and all my sisters. I’d also get my mom a shopping spree. Everything she wears is from St. John or Escada. So she could have a spree at both ($50,000). And I’d get her a car. An Infinity QX56 ($57,960, fully equipped).
Right now I have three dogs. A Havanese called Aorangi—I’d just won Wimbledon when I got him, and the practice site at Wimbledon is called Aorangi Park. So he got named after that. And two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Harry and Winston. I’d go to American Kennels and get another Havanese and another Cavalier King Charles. I love Yorkies, so I’d get a Yorkie and a Maltese and a bulldog ($15,700 for five dogs). Serena has a Maltese and a Jack Russell. I’m always suckered into buying them bags and treats. I think the Juicy Couture stuff is really cute, though. I’d get them each a bed ($975 for five at Juicy Couture) and some Greenies treats ($74.95 for five boxes at Petco).
I’m always flying. I used to not mind, but this year it’s really wearing on me. I’d get private jet hours from Net Jets ($1,176,069.30 toward 50 hours in a Citation Sovereign). That would help me so much. And a purple cashmere blanket from Hermès ($2,025) to take on the plane. I’ve come to accept that I’m always cold.
I’m a really picky eater and I have a hard time eating enough. There’s this diner called Route 66 that has the best breakfast ($16.75 for eggs, fruit, and granola). When I’m competing, I actually eat lunch for breakfast. One year Serena and I ordered in every day from Benihana before the U.S. Open—we just got into a groove. And we won. So for the two weeks of this U.S. Open, I’d get food for both of us ($679). Also, Serena loved the earrings I wore at Wimbledon. A big pink stone attached to a row of diamonds that I got at the Belgium airport. I’d get her a pair of earrings (cobblestone earrings, $2,000 at H. Stern New York). I was looking at a watch at Wempe. A Patek Philippe. It’s white gold and it has diamonds around a mother-of-pearl face (ladies’ annual-calendar watch, $48,800). It’s even prettier when you put it on. I looked at it but didn’t get it. I’ll get it when I win another slam.
What I Really Spent Today
Lunch from the restaurant across the street from my office. A tuna salad...$10
I bought gas for $20. I think. I didn’t look.
Dolly Madison Zingers and a tangerine soda...$2.50