MILAN — David Beckham is adding another category to his growing fashion and beauty businesses as his eponymous company reinforces its commercial team after separating from minority partners, XIX Entertainment. The brand is now 100 percent owned by Beckham and his wife, Victoria, and is based in London.
The first collection will launch in January 2020.
“I wear sunglasses all the time and this is a category that I love, so it’s important to me to work with a partner who cares as much about the design and craftsmanship of the product as I do,” said Beckham before the markets opened in Milan, where Safilo is publicly listed. “I’m really enjoying the process of creating a collection with the Safilo team — and I can’t wait to launch it next year.”
Angelo Trocchia, chief executive officer of Safilo, emphasized how the brand “carries the name of one of the most famous and successful players in the world.”
The former England soccer captain turned entrepreneur is part owner and the face of the contemporary men’s brand Kent & Curwen. Last year, he set up a men’s grooming brand called House 99 with L’Oréal. The father of four also serves as a UNICEF ambassador and works closely with the British Fashion Council.
The license with Safilo, said Trocchia, will allow for the creation of “a top, global male brand in the premium segment, complementary to the other prestigious men’s brands already present in our portfolio, working in synergy with the extraordinary power of David’s global audiences to further strengthen the presence of Safilo in the digital universe.”
Safilo produces and distributes eyewear under license for brands including Fendi, Dior, Givenchy, Moschino and Max Mara, as well as house brands, such as Smith, Carrera and Polaroid.
Last year, the company renewed important licenses with brands such as Banana Republic, Fossil, Havaianas and Tommy Hilfiger. In addition, it signed an agreement with Missoni and, most recently, with Levi’s, which is seen to fuel the contemporary segment and tap into the Millennial group.
As reported, Safilo saw encouraging first-quarter net sales, which increased 3.4 percent to 247.3 million euros compared with 239.1 million euros in the same period last year.
Separately, Beckham’s company has announced a management reorganization and an independent, eponymous brand following an amicable separation from former business partners, XIX Entertainment.
Managing director David Gardner, who has served as Beckham’s brand manager for more than 10 years, will oversee a senior leadership team responsible for every aspect of the David Beckham brand and businesses including all commercial operations, brand partnerships, marketing and financial management.
Based in new offices on Great Portland Street in London, the team has a range of experience across commercial, brand, sports, entertainment and fashion sectors, with a single point of contact for all aspects of Beckham’s professional world, the company said.
The Beckham portfolio is a broad one, and includes the launch of Inter Miami CF, a new team in the U.S. MLS soccer league, Beckham’s partnerships with brands including Adidas, Sands, AIA, Haig, House 99 and Tudor and all charity-focused activity including Beckham’s work for UNICEF through the 7 Fund, campaigns for Malaria No More and his role as ambassadorial president of The British Fashion Council.
Additionally, Seven Global, David Beckham’s joint venture with Global Brands Group, has moved its headquarters to London and hired David Heath as managing director. Heath has more than 25 years of experience in the apparel and footwear industry, including periods at Nike and Berghaus.
Heath most recently held the position of managing director at Ivy Park, the joint venture between Beyoncé’s Ivy Park Productions and Topshop’s Sir Philip Green, which ended last year. Beckham partly owns the clothing brand Kent & Curwen through Seven Global.