NEW YORK — Regardless of how she plays at the Wimbledon tennis matches this week, defending champion Maria Sharapova is expected to shine on the fashion front today in a white A-line dress with flecks of orange piping and shoes with real gold for a little pizzazz.

While Wimbledon’s fashion flash is subdued by its strict, all-white dress code, players inject color wherever they can. Sharapova’s competition footwear includes a material with 24-karat gold droplets that also was used in the golden track spikes made famous by sprinter Michael Johnson at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Nike, her sponsor, made 10 pairs of special gold shoes each for Sharapova and Roger Federer, who won his first-round match on Monday and is seeking his third straight Wimbledon title.

The orange piping on Sharapova’s white dress coordinates with the gold footwear, a Nike spokeswoman said Monday. The dress has cooling features and mesh treatments, and was created for Sharapova for the match, although a similar version is available to consumers for $70.

Sharapova, 18, is defending the Wimbledon women’s title she captured in 2004 by defeating Serena Williams. The avowed fashionista is known for her bold colors on the court and her penchant for designer brands such as Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.

She’s such a fan of fashion that she’s even talked of making a career of it when she hangs up her rackets. In an interview with WWD in April, Sharapova said she wants to do something in the fashion business eventually and has many ideas for a future in fashion, although what that future will be remains to be seen.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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