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Victoria Beckham: A Celebrity Designer Driven to Succeed

Victoria Beckham's new denim and eyewear styles will make their debut Wednesday on Net-a-porter.com and at a few select stores.

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Victoria Beckham

Photo By Giovanni Giannoni

A spring look from the denim line.

Photo By Courtesy Photo

With her burgeoning dress business in its fourth season, the Spice Girl-turned-designer has taken her denim and eyewear collections in-house, and has overhauled and renamed each. The new styles will make their debut Wednesday on Net-a-porter.com and at a few select stores. She also has cooked up two artistically chic short films for the occasion that will be shown exclusively on Net-a-porter for a week, and last month redesigned her Web site, victoriabeckham.com, from top to bottom. Her personal appearances will be ramped up in the months ahead, with one at Bergdorf Goodman during New York Fashion Week being a key cameo in February. Television viewers also will get to see the name behind the brand when she tests the talent as a judge on “American Idol” next month.

Rather than rest easy on her Spice Girls earnings or her husband David’s take-home as one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Beckham is dead set on earning her keep in the world of fashion. Their joint wealth is said to be north of $205 million, but they still ferry their three sons to and from school regularly. During a telephone interview last week, the former pop star mentioned how she had spent the previous day chaperoning 40 six-year-olds on a field trip to a local airport for a lesson on transportation.

Whether dubbed a perfectionist, overachiever or control freak, the 35-year-old has been in the public eye long enough to not be sidetracked by naysayers. “I plan on still being here in 25 to 30 years’ time,” she said of her London-based business. “It’s about doing things gradually and building the brand in a strategic way. It’s about finding the right time, the right team. With everything that I do, I will only do it after I’ve done all my homework. I really am a perfectionist, and I don’t want to rush anything. It’s not just about putting my name on a product and getting it out there. That’s not what is important to me.

“At the start, it was tough because people had preconceptions, but I worked incredibly hard and kept my head down. After three successful collections — though I’ve got a long, long way to go and a lot of work to do, and I will always feel that I have to prove myself, always — people say, ‘Who is my competition?’ I’m my competition. I want to do better next season than I did this season. And I’m sure the season after that I will want to beat myself again,” she said. “There have been people that have wanted to knock me that haven’t been able to because they haven’t been able to argue with the quality or the sell-throughs.”

Industry sources estimate the Victoria Beckham dress, denim and sunglass business will ring up $7.5 million in sales next year. So hot are her dresses that thieves stole 75 spring styles last week from a delivery van in West London. En route to Heathrow Airport, the driver stopped to make another delivery and returned to find the padlock smashed. Two robbers rushed from the back of the van with the designer loot, according to British reports. The heist was described by one source as “meticulously planned.” Beckham declined comment Monday.

Jim Gold, Bergdorf Goodman president and chief executive officer, said, “Victoria Beckham is one of the great style icons today, and a supremely talented designer. I have great certainty that her new sunglass and denim collections will be extremely well received. As we have seen with her couture dress collection, the moment she wears a product of her own design, it becomes immediately coveted by others.”

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