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It’s 8 p.m. on a recent Monday night, and Victoria Beckham isn’t out on the town with her soccer-player-slash-underwear-model husband, nor ensconced in the comforts of their Beverly Hills estate with their four children. Instead, Beckham is on designer duty in Las Vegas, spending a couple of hours with 50 or so customers at Neiman Marcus before hopping on a midnight flight to Los Angeles, where she will repeat her performance at another Neiman’s the next day, and then again the day after that in Dallas.
While Neiman Marcus is Beckham’s largest U.S. account (it was also her first, along with Bergdorf Goodman, when she launched for spring 2009), the designer has yet to make a store appearance there until now. Long overdue, Neiman Marcus was itching to get Beckham in front of a few select groups of loyal clients — all chosen because they had already bought Victoria Beckham pieces or demonstrated interest in doing so. These appearances were low-key, private affairs where she was able to personally present her brand’s spring collection.
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“Neiman Marcus is obviously a very important partnership in America,” said Zach Duane, chief executive officer of London-based Victoria Beckham. “It wasn’t about a particular product launch. It was more about Neiman’s. They have a customer that they were keen on getting close to the brand. We have a really good business with them.”
Speaking of Beckham’s business, Duane told WWD last year that the brand would exceed $12 million in annual sales in 2011. “The business is profitable, which I think for a young fashion brand is challenging in itself, and we are growing fast,” he said. “If you compare 2012 to 2011, we are up 150 percent.”
The job of a designer sometimes seems as much politician as creative director. Face time, handshakes and hugs are important, especially to a still-young brand. Beckham — who has racked up air miles this year with appearances at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, Joyce in Beijing, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Brown Thomas in Dublin and Harvey Nichols in London — realizes that. “I want to get to as many territories and stores as I can, not only to meet my customer, but to also support my retailer,” she said. “I have a really great relationship with all of my retail partners. I think it’s really important. I also want feedback from women. I want to know what women want.”
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