How Victoria Beckham Pulled Off Her Second Act in Fashion—And Why She Wants to Empower Women Around the … – Vogue.com
Victoria Beckham doesn’t shy away from her past. “I just want to say, it’s tempting, I’m here with a microphone—you never know what might happen!” she said at today’s Forces of Fashion Panel. These days, Beckham is part of fashion’s elite. As a designer, beauty mogul, and international fashion icon, she’s synonymous with graceful minimalist style, but it wasn’t all that long ago that she was best known for being a member of the Spice Girls. How did she pull off the ultimate 180? The star tackled the subject at today’s discussion, sharing with Vogue’s Nicole Phelps how she managed a career evolution that few could have pulled off. Candid, cool, and of course impeccably dressed in head-to-toe red, Beckham provided plenty of practical advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“I was very aware that people had preconceptions,” Beckham shared. “I was a Spice Girl, I was married to a footballer, so I was aware, but I was probably [also] quite naive going into the fashion industry.” She also admitted that a lot has changed in the business since she first showed her work nine years ago at the Waldorf Astoria: “I wasn’t as scared as I would be if I went in knowing what I know now.” Beckham was motivated by her passion for clothing and unwavering belief that she had something unique to share with the world. “I really put everything into this; it was a new career for me and I had a vision. I surrounded myself with the right people, which, when I started was just two people—one girl working with me on the design and another on the production. It was very different from what other people had done; I wasn’t a celebrity with a licensing deal.”
Stressing the importance of early industry support from publications and fellow designers like Marc Jacobs, Beckham credited her business’s longevity with the fact that it wasn’t attempting to follow trends. “It was all about being focused, honest, and doing it in an incredibly humble way,” says Beckham. “I wasn’t trying to copy what anyone else was doing—I knew what I wanted as woman who loves luxury, loves fashion. [I thought,] What was missing from my wardrobe?”
As she developed hits like her famously formfitting wiggle dress and tailored suiting, she approached each new category with the goal of getting it right. “If I can’t do it well there’s no point in my doing it,” said Beckham, who recently expanded into beauty via a collection with cosmetics giant Estée Lauder. She threw her all into the project, arriving for her first meetings with the brand with pots of color she’d mixed up and products she was passionate about. “I was very specific with what I wanted, even down to the size of pigments in an eyeshadow, and they were fantastic,” says Beckham, who is also working on her own skin-care and fragrance lines. “I feel like beauty is a category where I’ve just scratched the surface. I’m enjoying every moment; I love the development process and the packaging. David thinks I’m so boring talking about boxes and stuff!”
Working on multiple lines has enabled Beckham to push beyond her comfort zone. To promote her Estée collaboration with a special Vogue video, she ditched her famous smoky eyes in favor of a bare face to show fans at home how it’s done. “When Anna [Wintour] asked me to do a tutorial and she said, ‘Well, you have to start off with no makeup,’ I said, ‘Oh my God, really, do I have to?’ ” shared Beckham. “But the response has been fantastic—it was great advice, you have to be honest and engaging.” Similarly, doing a collection for Target introduced Beckham’s minimalist style to a whole new audience. “I want to reach out and empower women in America and all around the world—that’s not just women who have the budget to buy designer clothes,” says Beckham. “I was excited to meet my new customer and give her what she wants.”
Of course, Beckham’s budding empire is only one side of her persona. A mother of four, she juggles a jet-setting lifestyle with the business of being a working mom. When it came to her famous family, Beckham had plenty to say—noting that she wouldn’t mind if her children choose to pursue fashion, as long as they were happy. With ’90s nostalgia currently bigger than ever, her Spice Girls days remain a source of pride, and on occasion, fashion inspiration—just don’t expect her to pull out her “Wannabe”-era wardrobe anytime soon. “I had so much fun with those girls, but I look back at some of the costumes and I go, ‘Whoa, that was a helluva PVC catsuit.’ It was the ’90s, though, and it was good at the time,” Beckham said. “I learned an enormous amount.”
Watch the Victoria Beckham Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear Show: