Queen Victoria - Mrs Beckham is On Top of Fashion
It seems that with each collection, Victoria Beckham wins just a few more accolades and the press and fashion pack seem more and more assured that she is the genuine style deal when it comes to knowing how to dress women. It's a tough crowd and ever since Victoria launched her dress collection for spring/summer in 2009, the knives were drawn. The 40-year old petite brunette seems to have won the battle, with Anna Wintour praising her collection and the fashion pack commending her for taking wearable dresses and giving them a figure-flattering, glamorous edge. She admits, like any other working mother, she is tired after such a big month, but declares: "I love fashion – I really feel like it's where I belong." She chats about her journey...
What do think about designers creating for the high street? Would you contemplate doing it?
I think it is great that these brands are working with high street labels. At some point I would definitely think about doing it. It is not something I could do in the near future, because it takes a lot of time. As much as my brand is growing, we are still quite small. At some point, I would be interested in collaborating with a high street store, but that is nothing I could think about right now just because of the timing.
Other celebrities who have gone into fashion have gone into it with a different approach and there is nothing wrong with that approach. They have been licensed deals, but I own this brand and I am very hands on. I went into this not trying to prove anything to anybody. People had preconceptions, but they talked about the product and not me, women wanted to buy it because of the product and not because of me. There is a big difference. My team work really hard and I am proud of all of us for what we are achieving.
What do you do when you have time off from work?
We like to have fun with the kids. They surf, but I just watch. Any activity that we do as a family is fun. The boys came to my fashion show this season. I don't like them to miss school, but they were very surprised by the scale and how big it is. I think they were all very surprised that actually mummy does do something.
They don't know what the office is. They know I go there, but they don't know what it is. I just go to the office. Quite often I come home, take my shoes off and my handbag and my sunglasses and Harper will put on the sunglasses and put on the heels with the handbag and totter around the handbag saying "I'm going to work, I'm going to work" but I don't think she knows what work is.
Would you say that your job is an office job?
An office job? I don't think what I have is an office job. I think what I do is mainly creative. I love the creative role I have. My days are always very different. If you work in an office you turn up at the same time and you leave at the same time and that can be a bit monotonous at times.
What is your typical day?
My day is crazy. I wake up, I work out, take my children to school and I go to work.
First and foremost, I am a mother and a wife and the children and David are the most important people in my life. Being a creative designer is what I love to do. I loved my time with the Spice Girls, they are great girls and we still speak, but I do think what I am doing now is what I love. It’s my passion.
Before you send your models out do you say "Everybody rock up fierce" or "Pretend you are in a garden?"
You can't tell a model they are in a garden. They are a little bit hippy dippy anyway. They would not get anywhere. They genuinely look beautiful. The models do work very hard. It is not as easy as people think. They have a rigorous schedule. Whilst they are in New York they don’t sleep. I just tell them they look beautiful to keep the energy and pace up. It is important to keep the pace up. Everyone wants to feel appreciated for what they do.
Does music inspire you to design?
I like to listen to some pop music. I like a bit of Beyoncé and Rihanna. It does not influence my design. Myself and David and the kids love music. When we are at home we always have the music on and the kids like to sing and dance. David likes to sing really badly. We like to have fun.
Do you think everyone can wear your clothes?
Boys can wear my clothes if they like. It would be a bit weird but hey, I am not one to judge. My clothes are for women who love fashion and luxury. I would wear every single piece in my collections. I am designing clothes that I want to wear myself. As the collections move on I am adding more and more. I want to challenge myself design-wise each season. I am not trying to be anybody else. This I what I desire as a woman. I am trying to create what women out there desire.
As I get older in 30 or 40 years time maybe I would fantasise about myself wearing the pieces. I can't be 100 years old wearing a mini skirt, but currently I can wear everything that I design. It is still the essence of me at a taste level.
Do you have any rituals backstage at your shows?
If I told you my backstage rituals and was honest, you would think I was a little weird. I carry my crystals with me, which some people might think is odd, but it works for us. New York works and my team are happy there. We have a great set up there. We go to the same hotel. I am quite superstitious and I don’t walk underneath ladders and if I see magpies I do the salute thing.
Why have you chosen New York as a base for your brand?
I lived in Los Angeles for a long time and when I first started doing my shows, not all the key buyers and press went to L.A., but they went to New York. I was living there at the time so I thought everybody could see the collection. New York is what we know. It works for us. I am very superstitious as well and I don’t have any intention of moving from New York. We have just opened up an office there which is very exciting for us and America is a big market. It just makes sense. We never stop designing, we just keep going and going. Things are changing and evolving and the more we evolve and the larger the collection becomes the larger the brand grows.
Why did you decide to open a shop in London?
This is the first time my customers will be able to come and see my brand through my eyes. We launched an e-commerce site about a year and a half ago, but with the store I will decide what is sold in the shop as normally I and the customers are dictated to by the buyer and this is not going to be the case. This is my collection and these will be my favourite pieces that as a customer I would like to buy. It will be a different experience to when a customer normally goes shopping for ready-to-wear. I chose Dover Street as it is the coolest address in London. I would live there if I could. It is very cool. I respect the heritage and I want to put my twist on that. Dover Street is where I go shopping a lot. There are some great shops there and great restaurants and clubs and hotels. It is the heart of London and is by far the coolest part of the city in my opinion.
When did you first have an interest in fashion?
I wanted to be a designer ever since I was a little girl. I loved fashion and I used to watch my mother getting dressed in the 80s with her big hair and shoulder pads.
The Victoria Beckham collection is available from Net-a-porter.com.