While Victoria Beckham’s Reebok capsule collaboration won’t be released until later this year, the designer unveiled what she called “a little merch collection” on Thursday night during a Reebok event held at The House on Sunset in West Hollywood. Beckham was joined by longtime Reebok ambassador Shaquille O’Neal as well her husband David Beckham and their three sons Brooklyn, Cruz and Romeo, who all wore coordinating monochromatic pieces from their mother’s new line. “They are very excited because they love sportswear,” she said. “And they’re huge Shaq fans.”
The new throwback line pays homage to O’Neal and consists of two shirts and two hoodies emblazoned with the NBA All Star’s name. The pieces will be available next month on Reebok and Beckham’s web sites. The collection was inspired by Beckham’s recent visit to the brand’s Boston headquarters, where she explored the Reebok archives and found herself drawn to its heritage basketball pieces from the Nineties.
While Beckham has lent her name to promoting the new merchandise, her personal branding isn’t anywhere on it. “This is just a little collection that I wanted to do to celebrate Reebok, celebrate Shaq and really celebrate the Nineties as well,” Beckham explained.
During a Q&A between O’Neal, Beckham and moderator Louise Roe, the designer noted that she and O’Neal had only actually met “about four hours ago.” However, their relationship has familial ties. “I’ve known her husband for a long time,” O’Neal said. “Her family has always been gracious to me. It’s an honor to know her.” As for what Beckham will bring to the table, he added, “We’re going to let her do what she does. It’s a good thing for us at Reebok. We don’t have the same knowledge of women’s fashion.”
Last November, Reebok revealed that it was partnering with Beckham for an upcoming capsule collection that will be released in late 2018. While few details are available, Beckham shared that the new offerings are “completely different” from what she’s currently working on with the brand. However, she did say that her upcoming collection will feature “great” silhouettes and fabrics and won’t be “overly complicated.”
Additionally, the forthcoming VB x Reebok collection will be unisex because, as Beckham told WWD afterward, she and her husband often share clothing. “For me and David, we like [and] we wear the same stuff,” she said, “so I think it’s important that this appeals to men and women.” She added, “In fact, I never wear girl’s trainers.”
On this occasion, Beckham opted for a pair of patent leather pumps; even though all guests were sent classic white men’s Reebok sneakers in advance and were “kindly” asked to wear them to the event.
“She did that because of me,” said O’Neal, referencing her heels and their height difference. Beckham clarified, “I’ve actually been in trainers all day, but we came straight from a TV show and I didn’t have time to change.”
While most are used to seeing Beckham in sleek, minimalist dresses and high heels, the designer insisted, “I work out every day and I want workout clothing that looks great, but is technical as well. I expect a lot from my workout clothing. I don’t just want it to look good. I want it to do what I need it do.”
Ath-leisure is uncharted territory that Beckham said she’s eager to embrace. “This is something new for me, so I’m going to learn a lot,” she said of collaborating with Reebok’s design team. “I’m excited to be working with their technicians. It’s very, very different than what I have experienced and what I have done before. But [the upcoming collection is] going to be clothes that I want to wear and what I need for the gym. It’s also going to be flattering — all those things that are important to me and the way that I dress.”
As for why Reebok seemed like the right partner, Beckham said, “I’ve wanted to create a trainer and workout clothing for a long time, so I was really excited when Reebok approached me. There’s something so nostalgic about it.”
Meanwhile, Beckham’s design business has grown substantially since her own label debuted with 10 dresses in 2008. “I feel really proud of myself and my team and the business that I have built and the brand that I have built,” she said of celebrating her 10-year anniversary, which will culminate with Victoria Beckham collection being shown for the first time during London Fashion Week. “I’m excited to be coming to London in September. I don’t know if I’ll stay in London. I’ve enjoyed being in New York for 10 years. This just seems like a nice opportunity to go to London, celebrate in London because, you know, I’m from London.”
Additionally, she said linking with Neo Investment Partners, a private investment firm based in London, “means that I can really put my foot on the gas and I can do everything that I’ve always wanted to do. Not all at once, but I have big dreams and there’s lots of things that I want to do. I have huge ambitions and I can do that now.” Beckham said she looks forward to taking “the brand to the next level.” As for what that looks like, she said, “There are so many categories that I want to explore. I want to create a great fashion brand of the future. Digital has always been important to me. And there are more categories that I’m going into as well. Goodness. The sky is the limit.”
The night wasn’t all business. While discussing their favorite Nineties icons, O’Neal said, “I actually like Nineties white boy classics — Boy George, Hall & Oates.” He then broke out into song with a medley that included “Karma Chameleon,” “Maneater” and Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings.”
Following the Q&A, Salt-N-Pepa’s Spinderella DJ’d a Nineties-themed cocktail party and sit-down family style dinner that included guests Eva Longoria, Rachel Zoe and Beckham’s longtime hairstylist Ken Pavés, who had prepped her for photos earlier in the night.
“Look at you!” Zoe greeted Longoria, who is pregnant with her first child, a boy. The two women hugged and caught up while Beckham’s kids mingled with various guests. O’Neal’s sons, Shaqir and Shareef, were also on hand for the family affair.
Reebok pulled out all the stops in terms of production value. An exhibit featured a rack of shirts and hoodies from the new collection as well as pieces from the brand’s archives. On the patio, orbs and lights were strung from above; cream roses and ranunculus adorned a mirrored table runner, and tequila and Champagne were served following Chilean seabass and grilled chicken entrées.
Mid-meal, Beckham slipped into a Reebok hoodie due to the evening chill. She then did a quick shimmy during Bruno Mar’s “Finesse” while O’Neal briefly broke it down to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” Notably missing from the evening’s soundtrack? The Spice Girls.