LONDON — Victoria Beckham is breaking into the handbag business with a collection of 40 stock keeping units that will launch for the fall 2022 season. The eight styles are made in Italy and come in fabric, with the new VB logo, and in leather.
Although Beckham has created handbags before, the previous offer was small and the bags were often designed to complement the ready-to-wear.
Things are different this time: Beckham has brought in a designer, Raphaelle Hanley, and has built an in-house team to manage production and supply chain.
“It’s a much more strategic launch, and part of our lifestyle approach,” said Beckham in an interview alongside the brand’s CEO Marie Leblanc.
The handbag debut is part of an overarching strategy announced last summer to reposition the brand for growth and profitability.
As reported, the brand has consolidated its fashion offer under a single Victoria Beckham label. The Victoria Victoria Beckham and mainline collections have been blended, with a new average price point of around 550 pounds, compared with the 900 pounds of the old mainline collection.
The brand worked on sourcing, supply chain and manufacturing to ensure that the quality of the collection remained the same. Going forward, the plan is to relaunch leather goods and footwear under the new pricing structure.
The new-look Victoria Beckham collection made its debut with the pre-spring 2022 collection. Going forward, Beckham said she plans to showcase four collections a year, following the seasonal calendar. The overall offer, in terms of stock keeping units, is down by about 30 to 35 percent.
Beckham said she doesn’t take new category launches lightly, and said she oversaw “every single detail” of the new bags’ design.
She’d been thinking about the category for a while, and had wanted these styles to be made to her specifications, with a compelling price point, a luxurious feel — and functionality.
“A handbag is very personal, it’s a status thing, an extension of the home and of the person who’s carrying it. I am so proud of these bags, and excited about every single silhouette,” said Beckham who even modeled a few of the that which were on display in her west London office.
She also wanted them to be able to “complete the look and silhouette” of her rtw collections. She added that the bags reflect her “minimalist and magpie,” style.
The handbag samples will be traveling to Paris next week and sold alongside the Victoria Beckham fall 2022 collection. Beckham has created a film and will be showing the latest collection by appointment at her showroom.
Styles include a frame bucket bag with a gold, jewel-like clasp, and a small zip pouch inside. A detachable shoulder strap, and a separate handle, means the bag can be carried, worn on the shoulder, across the body or slung into the crook of an arm.
A soft clutch style has a wide, flat gold chain at the front that’s modeled on a men’s watch strap. There are hobo bags, small round shoulder ones, and a rectangular frame style with a sporty strap.
Beckham has been having fun with the colors, too: bags this season come in bright green, dark green, lilac and deep red. Beckham said she plans to pair the lilac clutch with a red outfit.
“Color is so important to us as a brand — we’re known for mixing strange, unexpected colors,” said Beckham. Some of the bags are emblazoned with the new repeating VB logo, which Beckham introduced for pre-fall 2022.
“We have big ambitions for the category, and we’re very strategic about this launch. We wanted to make sure we got the foundations of the brand right before entering the category,” said Leblanc.
She said there is a dedicated internal team that is leading sourcing and product development, and liaising with the factories. She described Hanley as having “an enormous amount of experience,” and a designer who “really understands the category.”
Hanley is a leather goods expert who has worked for companies including Cartier, Tanner Krolle, AllSaints and Golden Goose.
In keeping with the brand’s new approach and positioning, Leblanc said it was important that the bags be competitively priced, and play in the designer luxury end of the market.
“Leather goods are an important market for brands, and I think there is a white space for affordable luxury. The consumer is very educated now,” and also appreciates value, she added.
Prices range between 490 pounds for the small version of the bucket bag to 1,350 pounds for the rectangular frame bag with a thick, sporty shoulder strap. The soft clutch with the thick chain detail is priced at 890 pounds.
The bags will be sold through all of the Victoria Beckham channels and through wholesale partners internationally. Leblanc said the bag launch will also be a key part of Victoria Beckham’s expansion into Asia.
The collection will be refreshed seasonally, and will also include carryover styles.