Anyone who’s been to the Tristate area in the past few weeks couldn’t have escaped the sight of a barely clad David Beckham. Torso, tattoos and all, there he is in just his H&M Bodywear briefs on a Broadway billboard; running off in the teaser for the H&M Super Bowl commercial on giant Times Square LED screens; plastered all over double-decker buses that turn street corners. Beckham as eye candy — a notion hardly novel, though one crowds never seem to tire of.
On Saturday morning, hundreds lined up at H&M on Broadway to get a glimpse of the star athlete, who, perhaps to their disappointment, showed up in a red Alexander McQueen sweater and jeans, with a simple explanation.
This story first appeared in the February 3, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We’re in New York and it’s chilly,” he said, sitting in a quiet corner of the store before it opened its doors for the fans. In town for Super Bowl weekend, Beckham was full of anticipation for the game, though he didn’t make any predictions on the outcome.
“It’s one of the best offenses against one of the best defenses,” he would only say. “I have never been to the Super Bowl before. I am excited about actually going to the Super Bowl, in New York, a city that I have always loved.”
Needless to say, Beckham is “a big sports fan” beyond just soccer. “Since living in America, I have become a fan of different sports; basketball, baseball, American football,” he said. “I just love watching sports. Obviously, I am a bigger soccer fan than anything else, but I am also a fan of great sportsmen. Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of this game. To be able to watch him this Super Bowl is going to be very special.”
Despite Manning, he was not rooting for the Denver Broncos over the Seattle Seahawks. In fact, he said, he has no real preferences when it comes to “any kind of team in the U.S. I am friends with Tom Brady and I am fan of his, but with him not being here, I am going to sit on the fence and enjoy watching the game.”
His wife Victoria opted out of the trip because she is busy with preparations for her fall runway show at New York Fashion Week and will only arrive in Gotham this week. American football is quite popular in the family.
“The young two [boys, Romeo and Cruz] used to play a lot of touch football when they were living here; my oldest [Brooklyn] played contact football,” he said. “They’re three boys. They’re all into sports, but my middle boy, Romeo, is more into the fashion than any of the other children, though they all like to dress nice in their own ways, and they all have their own style.”
As for his own sartorial proclivities, fashion could play a bigger role in the future, though that’s not the only area Beckham is interested in.
“I wouldn’t say I am just going to focus on fashion,” Beckham said. “There are some other projects I am working on. I have learnt from Victoria that you need a lot of time to make something as successful as you want it to be. You have to spend a lot of time on that one thing and at the moment, I have so many other things going on. If I am going to do something, I will do it properly and until I can actually say, ‘OK, I can devote all my time into, say, men’s wear,’ I let Victoria continue to do what she is doing.”
As for those near-naked appearances, his legions of fans are probably hoping for many encores. Beckham, for his part, knows the gig is not eternal. “I feel that I can’t do it forever,” he said. “I am 38 years old now. Pretty soon, it’s going to be time to stop putting myself up there in underwear and hopefully let someone else take over and do it for me.”