Is David Beckham kicking around a men’s casual sportswear deal?
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to sources, the former soccer player has been talking to several companies, including Li & Fung, about doing his own sportswear collection, but sources said no deal is imminent. Several meetings with Li & Fung have reportedly taken place.
Simon Fuller, chief executive officer of XIX Entertainment in London, who formed a venture partnership with Beckham and serves as his adviser, couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. Fuller is responsible for masterminding Victoria and David Beckham’s fashion and commercial activities. Li & Fung officials declined comment.
Beckham has been raising his fashion profile with several collaborations, including a swimwear and bodywear deal with H&M, a men’s fragrance partnership with Coty Inc. and apparel with Adidas. He is also the face of Belstaff’s 2014 global ad campaign, which was shot by Peter Lindbergh. The company launched a special Beckham for Belstaff Collection that the former soccer player designed, a capsule of 10 motorbiking pieces that hit Belstaff stores worldwide and belstaff.com in March and will roll out to other selected stores in June.
The 38-year-old Beckham, who retired from soccer last year, has a new line of swimwear that will hit H&M stores and online on May 22. It includes boardshorts, swim shorts and trunks. The focus is on fit, performance, comfort and style, according to H&M.
This past winter, a barely clad Beckham — tattoos and all — was visible all over New York City. Beckham posed in his H&M Bodywear briefs on a Broadway billboard, as well as on double-decker buses that ran throughout the city. In addition, Beckham appeared in a 30-second H&M Bodywear commercial during the Super Bowl.
Sources said the soccer star is eager to build a David Beckham lifestyle brand and have people wear products bearing his own label. Beckham’s business continues to grow through endorsement deals with Sky TV, Belstaff, Breitling and Hachette, and partnerships with H&M, Adidas and Coty. Beckham’s businesses showed revenues of $31.8 million in 2012 and are expected to show growth for 2013 when results are filed.
Beckham, who has played for such teams as Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, Los Angeles Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national team, still has his feet in the game. In February, he exercised his option for a Major League Soccer expansion team and will seek to build that team in Miami, if he and his investors can score a new stadium. Fuller was confirmed as a co-owner of the MLS franchise. The team wouldn’t start playing until 2016 or 2017.