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Robbie Williams’ wife Ayda Field: ‘I have a beautiful wardrobe for a life that someone else lives’

Ayda Field Williams
Field's new collection is now stocked at Browns Fashion in Mayfair

If you’ve seen the Robbie Williams Netflix documentary, then you’ll now also be familiar with the singer’s wife of 13 years, Ayda Field.

The US-born actress and mother of their four children is just as relaxed and transparent about life as her husband. He features regularly on her Instagram feed, the pair dancing together in their underwear, playing with the kids and their menagerie of pets, and twinning in outfits from her athleisure line, Ayda. “We’re both classic oversharers,” she says.

All the same, the rawness of Williams’ documentary, released last autumn, made for painful viewing. “My story with Rob starts when I meet him, he didn’t really exist in my world before,” she admits. “You obviously know stories that friends have told you, but you don’t really understand the totality of something until you see it played out like that... There was the part of me that was the partner that wanted to jump into the storyline sooner to fix it, and also the part of me who had this very maternal response to a boy facing some real abuse. It was a very emotional watch.”

We’re meeting in a personal shopping suite at Browns Fashion in Mayfair where the Ayda collection is now stocked. She’s wearing the label head-to-toe: a two-tone blue silky bomber jacket and matching trousers, her “F--- Yeah” Ayda athletic socks and Prada platform sandals. It’s her first appointment of the day and her energy is infectious.

The two-tone blue bomber jacket and matching trousers from the Ayda collection
The two-tone blue bomber jacket and matching trousers from the Ayda collection

Field conceived of the idea to fill the gaps in her own wardrobe. She wanted clothes that were comfortable and fit for purpose but also fun. “I live in workout gear, I wear it all day long,” she says. “When you have four kids it’s not New York Fashion Week, there’s not multiple wardrobe changes in the day.”

The lightbulb moment came during the pandemic, when her activewear became a uniform. “[I thought] why am I wearing a one-shoulder workout bra that’s not gonna hold up my tits? … Yet the pieces that were really functional felt very suburban and underwhelming; nothing represented a woman who was funny and dynamic. Someone who worked and juggled and was messy and fantastic at the same time. It was all very either devoid of personality or sanctimonious and perfection. And none of that resonated.”

Enter Ayda the brand, which has the required wit in spades. There’s a T-shirt with a retro Beverly Hills logo and the words “Nouveau Riche” running across it. On the reverse of her bomber jacket are the words: “Beverly Hills High On My Own Supply”.

The collection reflects Field's desire for clothes that were comfortable and fit for purpose but also fun
The collection reflects Field's desire for clothes that were comfortable and fit for purpose but also fun - Ricky Tompkins Studio

The greatest compliment is seeing people who she doesn’t know wearing Ayda pieces. That has included another mother at the school gates, while a friend recently sent a video of someone crossing the road in LA wearing Ayda joggers. “Those moments mean so much to me,” she says. “It’s so validating and exciting and empowering.”

The biggest hit though? Those athletic socks, which come in sets of three, each pair with its own expletive empowerment slogan. They disappear from her wardrobe all the time: “[Eldest daughter] Teddy and [son] Charlie, along with Rob, all steal my socks. So before I realise, Charlie will be going to soccer practice and he has “F--- Yeah”, socks on. Or Teddy will have “Micro Dose” on or “F---ing Fantastic”. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, the [other] parents are gonna judge me.’”

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field (in Giorgio Armani) at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in 2018
Robbie Williams and Ayda Field (in Giorgio Armani) at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in 2018 - WPA Pool/Getty

The kids have free rein in her wardrobe all the same. “They all go into my closet. Beau, Coco, Teddy, Charlie, and they all ransack it, the glasses are flying, the handbags are flying, the shoes. They play this really unfortunate game of: ‘When you’re gone.’ Like, ‘Can I have this?’ And I’m like, did you realise that means I’m gone?”

So is it chock-full of designer treasures? Well, yes – not that they get all that much use. “I have a beautiful wardrobe for a life that someone else lives. I’ve got fabulous clothes and I do wear them but it’s this small 10 per cent that I grab in the morning. When it’s 7am and I’m getting dressed for school drop-off, I’m grabbing the first thing in my closet that’s comfortable.

“Yesterday, I started my day with my Ayda cricket sweater, leggings and my F--- Yeah socks, then I had to meet with girlfriends and I was going to a members-only club so I put on Gucci jeans, but kept my cricket sweater on. I put nice Celine shoes over the socks, and a Celine coat and I looked chic as f---. Then I came back and did bathtime in my Ayda sweatpants, and I still had my cricket jumper on.”

The Ayda cricket sweater from the collection
The Ayda cricket sweater from the collection

Field has different clothes for different moods, there’s no one rule or aesthetic that unites the contents of her wardrobe. “I can have a serious The Row or Celine moment, but I also love Rodarte and Dries Van Noten and Marni, so it depends how I feel. I want to either embrace the madness or completely shut it down and be mysterious – [but] even my severe has to be kind of playful. I’m too dramatic to be totally understated.”

One thing Ayda will always resist when it comes to style is being pigeonholed. “I enjoy the mixture. I think that’s where creativity comes in,” she says. “I love second-hand and high street clothing [too]. I went out to dinner the other night and I had some Isabel Marant jeans, The Row shoes and a Zara blouse. And I felt f---ing great.

Well, maybe there’s one consistent factor: “Of course I was wearing my F---ing Fantastic socks,” she adds. “My little wink to myself, even if no one can see it. They go everywhere. They’re a joy.”