When Victoria Beckham launched her eponymous fashion company in 2008, the world knew her mostly as a badly dressed ex-Spice Girl and a football player’s wife.
Exactly ten years later, she is respected in the fashion world and her company is turning a million dollars.
How did she succeed?
Examples are enough of celebs who start their own fashion line. Think for example of Deréon van Beyoncé and LAMB of Gwen Stefani. Fashion labels that in the meantime have largely been shut down or at least have little relevance and, above all, are not respected in the fashion world. There are a few exceptions to the rule, and Victoria Beckham is one of the best known.
When she presented her first collection in New York Fashion Week in 2008 in a suite at the Waldorf Hotel, the press was sceptical, to say the least. Unsurprisingly, until a few months before, Beckham was known for his personal style for her lack of clothing and use of fake tan. She did not have a fashion training either, so much was not expected of her.
“I was absolutely aware that people had prejudices,” Beckham said last year about a fashion conference by Vogue. “I did not know much about the fashion industry… I was probably pretty naive and not as scared as I would be if I were to do the same with the knowledge I had back then.”
But she continued and presented a modest first collection of ten dresses. And that was much better received than expected. “The woman known for this as Posh Spice has launched a collection of dresses and believe it or not, it’s one of the most exciting things going on in New York this week,” said Vogue. Times wrote: “In fact ‘and I still cannot believe I’m writing this’ it was a very impressive, expert collection without a minus.”
Supported by all those positive comments, she expanded her collection step by step with sweaters, jackets and accessories. “I did not want to rush anything. I did not want to do it until I could do it completely myself. Because unless I could do it right, there was no reason for me to do it,” Beckham said.
It is this perseverance and the continued pursuit of quality that has ensured that Beckham was embraced by the fashion world. Time and again the reviews of her shows were positive. In 2011 and 2014, her brand on the British fashion magazines was even declared the ‘best fashion label of the year’.
Of course, far from being a novice fashion designer fortunate to start with some initial capital. And her fame also plays in her favour. She almost always designs her own, in which she is extensively documented by paparazzi. Those pictures she shares in its turn on Instagram, where her 22 million fans can admire the design from the front row and liken shopping.
Yet that fame could also play to her disadvantage. Just look at the countless other examples of defunct celebs clothing lines. Known or not, it’s because she does have flavour and can design that, her brand is now running a million sales each year.
Currently, Victoria Beckham is one of the 25 best-selling brands at the luxury shop Net-a-Porter, despite the sky-high prices. For a pair of leather boots, you pay €1.480, a wool sweater with a roll neck costs €780 and a silk dress costs €2.755. Yet there are apparently enough women who want and can afford pieces of her.
“And those are not the women who do it for her fame,” says Sarah Bailey, journalist for Porter Magazine, to The Guardian. “They buy her designs because they are great garments and the perfect base if you can afford it.”
Finally, her own involvement in every aspect of her brand plays a role in its success. “I think many other celebrities are doing commercial deals… They just put their name on someone else’s products,” she explains.
“And I do not think there is anything wrong with that but for me it was never about that. I did not sing anymore, I am not an actress, I really did everything for this and this is a new career for me. I had a vision, I always remained focused and surrounded myself with the right people.”