PARIS — Good luck keeping Victoria Beckham off the selling floor — and out of the fitting rooms — when she parachutes in for a store event.
This story first appeared in the March 3, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I just can’t help myself,” the English designer confessed on Friday in Paris, where Printemps christened a 430-square-foot shop-in-shop for her signature brand in the middle of fashion week here. “I always have to be very hands on because I have a very strong opinion of what I want.
“I always find something I want to change,” she continued, smiling sweetly and adding: “My attention to detail is totally somewhat annoying.”
A good chunk of the designer floor at Printemps’ Boulevard Haussmann flagship — which houses brands such as Prada, Saint Laurent and The Row —was roped off for the meet-and-greet.
“I do lots of retail events, which aren’t press events. It’s me, meeting with my retailer, getting in the fitting room with my customer, doing trunk shows,” Beckham said. “I really have to get to know my customer more and more and more to understand what she wants so I can make sure that — yes, I am satisfying myself fashion-wise — but I’m giving her what she wants.”
Beckham’s space at Printemps — bordered in gleaming silver panels and with a low table for leather goods, plus a wall niche for eyewear — is her latest expansion in Europe ahead of the fall opening of a flagship on London’s Dover Street.
“My clothes sell very well here,” she said of Printemps, which also stocks her more affordable second brand — Victoria, Victoria Beckham — in its Maria Luisa area. “I’m very excited to have this space. I like the way they buy.…This is like a stepping stone for me, and it’s very exciting to reach out to my customer here in Paris and to have more product available.”
The designer and former Spice Girl lived in Paris for a good chunk of 2013 when her husband, soccer star David Beckham, spent five months playing for the Paris Saint-Germain team before retiring from professional sport.
“It sounds like an obvious thing to say, but the women here are very sophisticated and chic,” she said. “I’m very excited to be here during fashion week. You know the energy is incredible. It’s a beautiful, beautiful city. I love the energy, the shopping. I loved living here.”
Beckham described her aesthetic as European, and said her fashions are targeted at a global clientele.
“I like to treat women in every territory the same. My customer wants quality, luxury. She wants to feel empowered, confident. She wants to feel her best,” she said.
Based in London, Beckham sells her collection in about 60 countries, with the U.K. her strongest market, the U.S. in second and Asia third.
While the latter two remain Beckham’s strategic priorities, she said she would take her time to grow on the Continent.
“Every territory that we have entered into is growing rapidly, and I just want to do this the right way. I don’t want to rush anything,” she said. “The product is selling very, very well and when the retailer is selling product then they want to buy more. And nobody can argue with sales.”