With Posh Spice being a sweet 90’s memory, Victoria Beckham silently and slowly presents her reinvented image of a hard-working, humble yet ambitious fashion designer of great potential; a profile carefully structured around the allure of a superb style icon. Her strategy is admirably successful, placing her quite quickly in a favorable position within the luxury market.
Victoria was always into fashion as a wearer and shopper of designer items. But beyond that, she took some steps showing her intentions for greater involvement in this space. She debuted as a model on the runway for Maria Grachvogel in 2000 at London Fashion Week. She acted as British ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana and the face of streetwear label Rocawear in 2003. She designed VB Rocks, a limited edition high-end line of jeans for Rock & Republic in 2004. She walked down the runway for Roberto Cavalli at Milan Fashion Week, and was exclusively dressed by him for red carpet events in 2006. She even acted as fashion editor and stylist of Katie Holmes for the Harper’s Bazaar March 2006 issue. Her next collaborations marked her transition from the world of stardom to the world of creativity. They looked like monetizing on her pop-diva status but, in fact, taught her a new job.
In September 2006 she launched her own denim line dvb Style and, soon after, a range of sunglasses and a fragrance called Intimately Beckham. Her greater degree of involvement in the creative process was something she was openly proud of. Her denim line landed at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, in June 2007; a milestone coinciding with her first time at the Annual Graduate Fashion Week in London as a judge, next to Glenda Bailey (EIC of Harper’s Bazaar) and Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz. It was a great year, including the launch of her V-Sculpt cosmetics line in Tokyo, her collaboration line of handbags and jewelry with Japanese store Samantha Thavasa and Shiatzy Chen, two British Glamour Magazine Awards – Woman of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year – for her, and a memorable appearance at an LA Galaxy conference in Roland Mouret’s ‘moon dress,’ that showed her support and preference for the designer. She will later deny substantially the fact that Roland was the hidden talent behind her collections but admit he helped her set up her team. Surely, you could notice an influence at her beginnings.
In 2008 she challenged the world of fashion with her much-discussed shoot for Marc Jacobs Spring ad campaign and her unexpectedly good and praised first dresses-only SS 09 collection presented in a small press event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, NYC. Her first seasons included lots of structure and corsetry but also great fit and quality. The newly-founded designer appeared on the April 2008 cover of British Vogue, the November issue of Indian Vogue, and the February 2009 cover of Russian Vogue. Her commitment to avoid the use of real fur made her more popular, and her evolving designs earned her the Designer Brand of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2011.
She added handbags to her SS 11 collection and coats to FW 11. In January 2012, she launched her contemporary line Victoria, by Victoria Beckham at Harvey Nichols. French Vogue EIC Emmanuelle Alt invited her as guest editor-in-chief for the December 2013 issue, praising her as a perfectionist. That year, she was the most-searched-in-the-internet fashion designer in the U.S., followed by Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. She was also named one of the UK’s most influential women in BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour 2013 Power List.
She might have started as a small business of three people in a space offered by music impresario Simon Fuller, but today in her London headquarters in Battersea, more than 100 professionals are working for her, in a business of $50 million sales in 2013, 91% more than the previous year. She recently opened another office in Chelsea, NYC, and is opening her first store on London’s Dover Street in September 2014. Late this March, she was spotted inspecting the space.
Victoria stands out as a designer for her simple lines, enhanced by artful use of color, great tailoring and quality of fabrics. Her website and e-shop exude educated simplicity and sophisticated boldness. She has evolved impressively, gradually departing from skin-tight dresses, to embrace more separates (first time in SS13), organic forms and nouveau silhouettes. On her 40th birthday in April, Glamour magazine (May issue) celebrated her unparalleled success of less than 6 years with a rainbow montage of 40 top-tier celebrities wearing 40 of her memorable designs!