LONDON — David Beckham plans to channel his charm, professional experience and powers of persuasion into a new role that focuses on British youths, and international marketing, as ambassadorial president of the British Fashion Council.
An announcement is expected today.
According to the BFC, which earlier this week named Stephanie Phair as its new chair, the role is a global one and will have an initial two-year tenure. Beckham has been charged with supporting the organization in its goal to build networks and partnerships in the U.S. and Asia.
He will partner with the BFC in raising the profile of emerging British fashion talent among investors and the media.
In addition to promoting ongoing innovation in the sector, Beckham’s role will be to support the BFC across its education pillar. The organization aims to reach young talent from all backgrounds across the U.K. through BFC-run Saturday Clubs, scholarships and apprenticeships, and engagement in arts education.
The first 12 months will see Beckham, along with industry leaders, editors and designers, visit U.K. fashion education programs. He will also host events in China and the U.S., “unlocking his global network to convene support for the BFC’s work in these markets,” the BFC said.
What a network it is: In addition to being one of the most famous athletes in the world, the former England football captain, is the part owner, and face of, the contemporary men’s wear brand Kent & Curwen. Earlier this year, he set up a major league soccer franchise in Miami, Florida, and launched House 99, the men’s grooming brand he’s created with L’Oréal. The father of four also serves as a UNICEF ambassador.
“As we look to boost support for the British fashion industry at a global level we identified the need for a global figurehead, who is able to shine a light on our incredible British fashion talent and ensure we build and create energy for the British fashion economy as we transition through the Brexit period,” Phair said.
“David is perfectly placed to help us do this. We have spent the last few months working closely with David to identify how we can build on our networks in Asia and North America as we aim to support increased opportunities for businesses to grow in these regions.
“Taking on this new role is an incredibly proud moment for me,” Beckham said. “I have long been passionate about British style, fashion and craftsmanship and this role gives me the chance to get under the skin of an industry I love.”
Asked what he wanted to achieve in the new role, Beckham said: “It is always important, when you are lucky enough to be in the position that I am in because of my career, which includes fashion, to engage emerging talent and promote that talent globally.”
He said one of the areas he’s most interested in is the BFC’s education pillar, “particularly in light of some of the challenges around the arts funding in this country. It is really important to me to promote this pillar and hopefully inspire kids, who wouldn’t normally consider fashion as an industry for them, to get involved with it.”
Beckham added that he was gearing up to work with Phair and with Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the British Fashion Council, to promote emerging British fashion talent globally. “That is something I can really help with and that’s exciting to me,” he said.