NEW YORK — Victoria Beckham despises skinny jeans on men.
“I think guys should wear jeans big and baggy, with a big pair of boots or flip-flops—exactly how you see David when he’s out in his jeans and T-shirt,” she advised on a phone call from her L.A. home last week, referencing her husband, soccer superstar David Beckham. “Do not pull them up tight and have your bulge showing. Let it hang!”
The former Spice Girl’s fecund fashion tips came as she readies the launch of a men’s jeans range, which will hit stores this August. Branded under her dVb label, the jeans are the latest step in Beckham’s budding fashion career, which began last year with the launch of women’s jeans, eyewear, and his-and-her fragrances.
“These are not skinny jeans. They are what I call proper men’s jeans,” said Beckham of her foray into the men’s market. “If you are a man that likes really skinny jeans, very fashiony, this isn’t really the line for you. I didn’t want anything too tight around the crotch. That really repulses me. It might be fashionable, but you are not going to get that from dVb.”
Beckham’s jeans are produced in partnership with Western Glove Works, the Winnipeg, Canada–based company that also markets the Silver Jeans and 1921 denim brands. The first delivery has been tightly edited and includes a boot fit available in five washes—such as a dark resin wash, a vintage stain wash and a light gray wash—and a boot fit with a back flap pocket, in a vintage stone-bleach wash. A later holiday delivery will expand the fit offerings to a straight leg and will also include vintage-wash T-shirts.
The jeans, sourced in Asia and Morocco, will retail from $220 to $285. Design details include an aged leather waistband patch with the dVb logo, antique copper finish hardware, and purple pocket bags. Beckham and Western Glove Works are targeting top-tier specialty retailers for the men’s jeans, which are sold out of the Denim Area showrooms in New York and L.A. The women’s denim collection is currently carried in about 600 doors globally, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Maxfield, Kitson, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Colette.
“I’ve used the best Japanese denim, and I think I’ve created a fit that is very flattering and very comfortable,” said Beckham, who is creative director of the dVb brand. “I’m a complete control freak and I want everything to be perfect. I’m not doing a Britney Spears and just putting my name on something and saying, ‘Sell this perfume.’ This is a real passion of mine. People think all I do is go shopping like a miserable cow, but, in actual fact, I work bloody hard.”
Beckham has no formal design training but she did previously work on a co-branded denim line with Rock & Republic for several years, and she’s known worldwide for her provocative fashion sense. (Beckham’s Spice Girls nickname was “Posh.”) “She is very involved in all aspects of the line,” said Alan Einarson, a vice-president at Western Glove Works, who oversees the project. “We have regular meetings with her in L.A. and London, bring all the materials, sit in a room and spread everything out.” According to Beckham, she has an ideal fit model in her husband—who currently captains the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, and stars in international advertising campaigns for Emporio Armani underwear, Adidas, Motorola and Pepsi. “I ask him what he likes and dislikes about certain jeans,” explained Beckham. “When I get the prototypes, I try them on him. He says they are the best-fitting jeans he’s ever had.”
The dVb brand—which is an acronym for David and Victoria Beckham—is a partnership between the Beckhams and 19 Entertainment Ltd. The London-based company was founded by Simon Fuller, and produces American Idol, created the Spice Girls, and manages the careers of singer Kelly Clarkson and fashion designer Roland Mouret, among other diverse clients.
Like the denim collection, dVb eyewear, which includes women’s and unisex styles, is sold in high-end stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Fred Segal, Harvey Nichols and Isetan. (The dVb team declined to name the manufacturer.) However, the dVb fragrances—David Beckham Instinct and Intimately Beckham, all marketed by Coty—are sold in mass market and mid-tier retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s. Asked if she thought it might be harder to sell her brand of fame to men’s denim customers versus women, Beckham noted: “I’ve been very careful with the branding and I’ve kept it a little smaller on the men’s collection. I’ve stripped off my name and it’s just a subtle logo. I think women will pick up on it—I do a lot of shopping for David, for example. My biggest challenge is making people aware that the brand is out there.”
Beckham is relying on press and personal appearances to tout dVb to the public. She made appearances last month at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago and Holt Renfrew in Toronto, both of them drawing huge crowds. Now officially retired from the Spice Girls following this past year’s reunion tour, Beckham intends to focus her energies on building the dVb fashion brand.
“I’m so grateful to the fashion industry for giving me an opportunity,” said Beckham, who currently stars in the Marc Jacobs spring advertising campaign. “I’ve got a long way to go. It’s a great big ladder and I’m right at the bottom, but this is what I want to be doing 20 years from now.”
Beckham hopes to expand dVb into children’s wear in the future, as she has three sons: Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, ages three to nine. (Cruz gained fame in his own right recently, due to a video of him break dancing during a Spice Girls concert, which garnered several million hits on YouTube.) She is also interested in creating shoes and bags—but takes a long-term view of the business.
“I want to grow dVb at a steady pace. Lots of people have shown interest, but it’s finding the right way to do it,” she noted. “Everything I do with dVb is true to my heart, and it has to have some relevance to me, my children or my husband.”