LONDON – All the world’s a stage for Victoria Beckham, who plans to connect with her public like never before, during — and after — her first London Fashion Week show on Sunday morning.
The show, at Ropac Gallery near Beckham’s Dover Street flagship, will mark her 10 years in business and will be live-streamed on the big 4K LED digital screen in Piccadilly Circus, known as Piccadilly Lights. Beckham is also planning an array of one-on-one meetings with customers, including a trunk show at the private club Annabel’s, and even a stint behind the cash register at her Dover Street store on Sunday afternoon.
“Haven’t we all been shop girls at some point? I had Saturday jobs doing that, so I’ll be taken back to those times,” said Beckham from her new West London showroom. “I spend a lot of time in the store because it’s really important for me to just understand what the customer wants. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my customer. You know, some of them have never been to a fashion show and it’s a great experience and I really wanted to welcome them into it and for them to celebrate with me.”
Beckham, who was dressed in a fluid black trouser suit, breezy flat sandals and the limited-edition white T-shirt from her anniversary collection, said clients are flying in from as far afield as Australia and Mexico for the event. They’ll be able to shop the runway show from her newly relaunched brand Web site on Sunday and take part in private customer events. Beckham plans to host a separate presentation of her Victoria Victoria Beckham collection on Sept. 18 at Annabel’s.
To mark the anniversary, the designer has put together a capsule of jewelry, sunglasses, accessories and shoes. The capsule also includes a white T-shirt that bears one of the images from Beckham’s first ad campaign, which was shot by Juergen Teller. The capsule will debut Saturday on Beckham’s Web site and at her Dover Street and Hong Kong stores.
Beckham gushes about working with Teller, and she said she never expected him to shoot the campaign, which broke earlier this week. She said she had wanted to re-create the original 2008 Marc Jacobs ad that shows her swallowed up by a Jacobs shopping bag, with only her tanned legs and Marc Jacobs-clad feet sticking out.
“I asked Marc for his blessing to re-create the image and he said yes. And then I approached Juergen and he said, ‘I love the idea, and I want to take the picture for you.’ I never even dreamed that my first campaign would be with him, and we had so much fun on the shoot. We just worked really, really well together,” said Beckham of the campaign, which shows her frolicking with a gigantic white branded shopping bag.
Beckham may be marking a decade in business, but she’s also looking ahead. During the interview, she confirmed that she’s begun to develop a specific beauty category (she won’t give any details but earlier this year said that she’s working on skin care), and said there are a slew of plans in the works under new investors NEO.
NEO Investment Partners took a stake last year after injecting 30 million pounds in the business and the money has been earmarked to enhance the brand’s digital and physical retail presence, drive growth in core categories and launch new categories and collaborations. In June, Beckham also welcomed a new chief executive officer, Paolo Riva, who started work on Sept. 1. Earlier this year, the company brought in Ralph Toledano as chairman.
It may be a milestone year, but Beckham insisted that her spring/summer 2019 collection is in no way a retrospective, and said the pieces have not been inspired by previous collections.
“We’ve established really strong codes over the 10 years, and you see all of those codes throughout. I think there’s a real femininity to this collection, and I love all of the soft lace that we’ve used. It feels really beautiful against your skin. I show that with some masculine trousers. Mixing the two together again is a code that we established over the 10 years.”
Beckham said it’s a strong season for knitwear, too, and for prints. Pointing to images of the looks in her new, sunny studio with its Palladian windows and soaring ceilings, Beckham said the collection is “really about choice. Whether it’s a skinny pant or a larger pant, whether it’s a short skirt or a longer skirt, it really is about giving the customer choice.”
The palette, she added, was inspired by the New York-based British artist Nicola Tyson. “I love the way she sees color,” Beckham said.
Although London may be home in terms of family and business, Beckham does not plan to continue showing here.
“What better way to celebrate our 10th anniversary than to come to London for the first time? My aesthetic is very British, and I think the best thing about being here is that I have two full ateliers. We have more seamstresses, too, and we can do more this week than we can normally because we’re home. And I live five minutes down the road, which is really nice,” she said.
“But I think this is a one-season stop for us. Who knows where we will go next? I like the fact that we can be open-minded, we can think outside of the box. Let’s see where feels right next season.”