MILAN — David Beckham is getting serious about underwear.
This story first appeared in the July 29, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The soccer icon has inked a long-term deal with H&M to produce and distribute his new Bodywear line for men. The first collection will bow Feb. 2, in a nod to Valentine’s Day later that month. The line will be carried in about 1,800 H&M stores globally.
“Over the past year, I’ve been developing my Bodywear range with my team and I’m extremely positive about what we have designed and produced,” said Beckham. “The final piece in the jigsaw was a retail partner who has the vision and capability to distribute these products globally. In H&M, we have found the perfect partner to collaborate with going forward.”
Ann-Sofie Johansson, head of design at H&M, described Beckham as a “true icon both of sport and style.” She said the agreement marked “the start of an amazing adventure for us at H&M. Valentine’s Day in 2012 is going to be a very exciting time indeed.”
In addition to his endorsements that have included Emporio Armani, Adidas, Electronic Arts, Diet Pepsi, Yahoo, Castrol, M&S, Motorola and Police sunglasses, the athlete is focused on building his own Brand Beckham.
The David Beckham Homme fragrance, his third from Coty Inc., will be introduced in September.
“This partnership with H&M is an important step in the evolution of David’s journey from sporting hero to entrepreneur and icon,” said Simon Fuller, Beckham’s longtime business partner and the music industry impresario behind “Pop Idol,” “American Idol” and the Spice Girls.
“H&M’s enthusiasm and support for this venture, combined with their scale and reach, will continue to enhance the power of David’s image around the world,” he added.
H&M has linked with fashion designers ranging from Karl Lagerfeld and Alber Elbaz to Roberto Cavalli and, most recently, Donatella Versace.
Its previous celebrity collaborations include a clothing line with Madonna, which launched in 2007.