Victoria Beckham (Denim, Dresses, etc.) - Page 31 - the Fashion Spot
 
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20-11-2010
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Interesting interview about her brand. Always surprised how businness savy, but realistic she is.

Victory Victoria
By Bridget Foley

Quote:
Fashion has its quirks, which can make for quirky milestones. Just ask Victoria Beckham, she of the self-named fashion label which, since its launch in 2007, has surprised some observers and shocked others with its steady growth and its considerable chic. Beckham herself, whose entrťe into fashion was greeted with the same critical eye rolls that accompany most celebrity fashion launches, has proven herself deadly serious ó and an impressive designer and businesswoman. The lady knows what sheís doing, and what she doesnít know, sheís taking the time and care to learn.

The anchor of her business, her dress collection, has grown with each season and has found favor with major retailers from Net-a-porter ó her number one ó to Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Harrods, and she just launched handbags. As for that off-beat milestone, in a conversation following her terrific spring show, Beckham noted a unique consistency in her reviews: ďWhen I looked at the reviews this season, very few even mentioned the Spice Girls, very few mentioned that I was a footballerís wife.Ē


WWD: How do you assess where you and the company are now, both creatively and in terms of the business?
Victoria Beckham: We have grown as a business quite incredibly over the last five seasons. The first season we made 400 pieces. This season, weíre up to 2,000 pieces, so weíve worked at a slow but steady pace. I travel a fair amount to London, every month, and then I also have a lot of my team come to L.A. ó thank goodness for Skype ó that helps out a lot. And adding a new product category [handbags] has been very exciting for me.

WWD: The bags look great.
V.B.: The response has been quite incredible. Weíve just finished our selling campaign [for dresses and bags] and the orders are great. Weíre up 64 percent from last year. In the future, I want to add some more retail partners to our list; I want to be able to give my existing retailers more stock, because what weíre giving them at the moment is still not satisfying them.

WWD: You continue to produce in England, correct?
V.B.: All of the dresses are made in England. I want to keep the same quality ó I donít want to compromise at all. The handbags are all made in Italy. Iím trying to think what else has changed over the years ó Iím still a pain in the neck to everybody who works with me. I am a perfectionist and a control freak. I give 110 percent when I go to work, and I expect that from the people that work with me. I have a fantastic team ó a very, very small team, but a fantastic team.

WWD: Describe your design ethos, your aesthetic.
V.B.: I think it is constantly evolving. I have really enjoyed loosening up the clothes because thatís what I want to wear now ó that feels more modern. I appreciate that my customers still want a fitted Victoria Beckham dress. That is very much our signature silhouette and thatís what my customer wants, so each season we produce those dresses, but I want something thatís looser. Is it because Iím getting older? I donít know. I think itís just because it feels more modern. It feels more comfortable, less uptight. I think I feel very satisfied with myself where I am in my personal life and also, professionally, so maybe thatís why I feel more inclined to really loosen it up. Iím happy to challenge my figure ó itís not all about ďDo I look as small as I can look?Ē Itís just about wearing something comfortable and chic. It just feels like a much more modern attitude. Even with the styling, whether Iím wearing my own design or somebody elseís design, itís less about being matchy-matchy. I like things that are quite often wrong ó things that clash, or are a little less expected.

WWD: Your clothes are obviously very different from Donnaís and Veraís. But it seems that in one way, your approaches are the same: You design clothes that work for you as a consumer.
V.B.: I design everything on myself. Iím not following trends. Iím not looking at what colors other people are using. I use the colors that I like, that Iím going to wear, and absolutely everything is made on me ó thatís the way that we work. I donít work with a fit model. That was part of what was so exciting for me when I saw the purple dress on the cover of WWD and I looked at where that dress started out ó that started out as me with a meter and a half of parachute silk, standing in front of the mirror, literally draping it on myself, and tying it, tying it in a knot and saying to my team, ďWhat do you think?Ē

WWD: You talked about adding different product categories. Do you see adding sportswear to the dresses? Knits?
V.B.: Obviously, we have the denim line. [Otherwise] I think at the moment I want to stick to dresses. I think thatís what my customer wants. Iíd love to add coats, for example. And knits at some point. But itís just about doing it in the right way.

WWD: What appeals to you and to other women about wearing dresses?
V.B.: To put on a dress is a lot easier than putting on separates because you donít have to think about it. You can literally step into one of my dresses, you can zip it up, and you can go. Also, I think itís good value when you buy a dress. And, I think a lot of the dresses work for day and also for evening.

WWD: Talk about the jeans line. The original label DBV no longer exists; everything is now under Victoria Beckham. Other changes?
V.B.: The jeans are doing really well, as are the sunglasses. I mean, the dresses are always going to be my baby, but everything else is doing very, very well. The denim is all made in Italy now. Itís good quality and people are really liking it.

WWD: Letís talk about your growth as a designer. Do you feel that youíve shed the ďcelebrity-designerĒ mantle?
V.B.: I do. Iím constantly trying to better myself. I will probably think that those preconceptions are there more than they actually are because Iím a perfectionist and Iím constantly trying to better myself. Iím constantly trying to evolveÖ.I think the product has really spoken for itself, the sell-through has spoken for itself. Most pieces actually have sold before theyíve even made it to the shop floor.

WWD: When you launched, you did so with a W story that very much played on your marriage and who you are as a celebrity couple. Was that a conscious decision to flaunt your celebrity and then withdraw from it?
V.B.: No, not at all. We were moving to America. We were very, very excited to be coming and then the opportunity came up with W, a magazine that we both loved, and with Steven Klein, a photographer that David had worked with previously but I hadnít, so I was very excited to work with him. It just seemed like the right thing to do then. Would it be the right thing now? Iím not so sure, but at the time, it really worked and I thought it looked great. Iím such a huge fan of Steven Klein and I think he really captured both of us and our personalities.

WWD: When you launched the dresses, you did so quietly, in appointments in a suite at the Waldorf rather than with a big splashy show. Do you think that the quiet approach helped in the credibility department?
V.B.: I think that Iíve benefitted from doing it in this way. It was really important because of my past that people really understood my involvement, my knowledge, and that they understood the clothes as well. Certain things are very much trademarks. [For example], seaming details. Goodness, a lot of these things Iíve gone on so much about, but if I wasnít speaking about those things, people wouldnít have been aware of them. They wouldnít have understood the quality, which is such a huge part of what Iím doing. At some point, I would really like to do a big show. Iím just not ready for it yet. Iím very optimistic but Iím also really realistic.

WWD: Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani each had big shows early on. Did you consciously say, ďI donít want to do that. I donít think it worked for them,Ē or was that not on your radar?
V.B.: Iím friends with a lot of these women, but no, I never really looked at what they did. I always had a lot of respect for what they do. I think one of the big differences is that they are predominantly actresses or singers, whereas this is what I do. Iím not doing anything else. This really is my passion. Iím incredibly focused on what Iím doing. Itís my family, and itís my design work ó thereís nothing else there. And Iíve done it differently from everybody else.

WWD: At what point did you know that you were a fashion girl at heart?
V.B.: Probably when I was at school and I used to customize the school uniform during recess. Iíve always loved fashion. Itís always been my main passion. The music was great. It was fun, but it was always really the fashion that captured my heart, from a very early age.

WWD: You mentioned earlier that you still wear other designersí clothes.
V.B.: I will always wear other peopleís clothes. I like to mix it up. There are so many incredible designers out there doing incredible things and I donít want to wear my own clothes all the time.

WWD: Whose clothes do you wear now, other than your own?
V.B.: I really like Isabel Marant for during the day. Itís casual; itís not too complicated; itís comfortable. Iím always going to love AlaÔa, Prada. Itís bits and pieces. I like to go out, have a look around the shops and pull things from lots of different designers. I also like to really support young designers. There [are] some great young British designers that I really enjoy wearing their clothes.

WWD: Can you name some of them?
V.B.: Richard Nicoll ó heís been around for some time now. I love to wear Giles [Deacon]. Iím trying to think on the top of my head.
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Last edited by Miss Dalloway; 20-11-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Continued.....

Quote:
WWD: Do you listen to the stores? Do you take retailersí opinions to heart? Do you ignore them?
V.B.: I have a really good relationship with all of my stores. I love to do store events that arenít press events. It gives me the opportunity to really get in the fitting room with my customer. I do that with the sunglasses, I do it with the denim, and I also do it with the dresses. I want their feedback. I want to give my customer what she wants each season. I also want to get to know the people that are selling my dresses. So itís a very big part of what I do ó traveling around to all the different territories and speaking to the people selling the dresses and actually, like I said, really getting on my knees and turning up the hems of the dresses. I take all the feedback into account and take it back to my team. Iím never offended by anything; I really appreciate constructive criticism. The one comment that keeps coming back is, ďWe want moreĒ ó more than advice on how I can improve what Iím giving them. A few of them, like I said, do want exclusives, and thatís always fun.Ē

WWD: Thatís very interesting. Only a few years ago, you sat with the major retailers in the front row of many shows. After the spring 2008 season, you were on the cover of WWD Scoop at the Oscar de la Renta show. Do you miss going to shows?
V.B.: I always went to the fashion shows because I love fashion and I found it so exciting. I never, ever went to ďbe seen.Ē I never meant to be the celebrity sitting in the front row. I mean, I am a celebrity so that was often the way it came across, but I was there because itís my passion and I love the energy. And I also love to support many of my friends. Iíve been to lots of Marc Jacobs shows. Heís a very, very dear friend of mine. So I go and support other designers. Itís increasingly difficult for me to do that now because I have my own collection. So what Iím doing, Iím doing in a very different way. I [show] at the start of fashion week. I do it in a very humble way, and I like to get out of the way of all the ďbig guys,Ē if you like. Iím very respectful that the industry has welcomed me and has been so kind.

WWD: I read something you said a while back, that you think the fashion-music connection has weakened in recent years, that thereís little good fashion in music these days. Do you still think thatís true?
V.B.: Absolutely. I canít think of anybody that is particularly relevant, fashionwise, in music. I think there are lots of music artists out there who are trying to be relevant fashionwise, but I canít think of any that I would necessarily want to dress [or] that really excites me.

WWD: What do you think of Lady Gaga?
V.B.: I think she is obviously incredibly, very, very talented. She writes all of her songs, she can really sing. She is a phenomenon.

WWD: How about fashionwise?
V.B.: I have a lot of respect that she can walk in those shoes going through airports. I mean, goodness, people think I dress up to go to an airport! I think sheís really doing her thing. Thatís her. If Iím being completely honest, is it fair to say she may have become a little bit of a parody of herself? Is that fair to say? I donít want to seem like Iím being negative in any way, because I have so much respect for her.

WWD: Apart from Lady Gaga, do you think fashionís obsession with celebrity has lead to a watering down of fashion ó the tail wagging the dog, and itís often a boring tail?
V.B.: No. When I see a celebrity wearing one of my dresses, Iím really, really excited. I want to make women look and feel beautiful. When I have a lady who is not only looking and feeling beautiful but is photographed, and people have a lot of respect for what she wears, Iím really excited about that. I guess it depends on the caliber of actress or singer that you have your clothes on.

WWD: Do you have any fashion pet peeves?
V.B.: I do not like all these big shoulders. And Iím always going to be slightly freaked out by cropped tops. I think when you get above the age of about seven you should not do that. I just think itís really important to really dress in an appropriate way for who you are and for your age.

WWD: You come across as a very happy person. Do you have to work at it or does it come naturally?
V.B.: I am just a really happy person. When I get up in the morning, I get up, I get the kids ready for school, we have breakfast. Iím a really good morning person. I like to set everybody up for the day. So I get the kids excited for the dayÖ.David is with a sore head in the morning and Iím the complete opposite. I want to start as I mean to go on. And we have music on in the house. Iím very, very upbeat; Iím a very positive person. Iíve got three amazing kids, a wonderful husband ó they all really make me laugh.

WWD: Do you pay attention to the tabloids?
V.B.: No, I donít. I mean, itís very difficult, because ó thereís lots of great stuff in the tabloids. I try to not pay too much attention to it because when itís positive, itís great. But then Iíve also been on the other side of it where itís not so positive and itís not so great. So I really do take it with a pinch of salt. I have a great team of people that do pay attention to the tabloids and they go through them with a fine-tooth comb. But Iím not that person at all. I really do focus on the kids and David and my career and I donít want to see all of that crap, I really donít. Because like I said, when itís great, itís great. But I have seen many different sides to fame and a lot of it is not particularly nice. So I take it for what it is and I really focus on what matters.

WWD: Are the children, aware of your career and what youíre doing?
V.B.: My middle one, Romeo, he absolutely loves fashion. And the other two, they know what I do. I think itís a very important message to give to children, that both myself and David work.ÖItís really important to have a man that is comfortable and confident enough in himself and supportive of a woman who wants to have a career. Thatís why Iím very lucky with David. Heís very supportive. People say, ďMy goodness heís so good-looking; Heís so talentedĒ ó he is all of the above. It really makes me feel lucky for the fact that he is that guy who respects what I do, and supports what I do and would never dream of holding me back in any way.

WWD: Whatís next for Victoria Beckham ó personally, professionally, either, both?
V.B.: This time next year I would love to have e-commerce. Thatís something that Iím really researching at the moment, doing my homework.

WWD: But you havenít rushed into e-commerce.
V.B.: Well at the moment, I couldnít handle the volume. But Iím trying to figure all of that out. But that is definitely something that interests me. Having my own store would be great. I want to continue to keep my presentations intimate, but I want to continue to make them interesting. So each season I try and take myself to the next level, a little bit more each season. Iím focusing on that. Iím really enjoying working with the handbags, so growing that side of the business, the accessories side of the business as well. I mean, there really are so many things that I want to do.

WWD: If you did a store, would the first one be in London or somewhere else?
V.B.: I donít know. Iím very proud to be English and an English designer, and I think that my style is quite European. But I live in America. America is a big territory for me ó would it be London? Would it be New York? I donít know. New York sounds quite fabulous.

WWD: Are the Beckhams to remain U.S. residents for the foreseeable future?
V.B.: Absolutely. We love it here. Itís a great place for us to live as a family. The boys are really happy. Davidís really happy.

WWD: Are the boys losing their accents?
V.B.: They have American accents, which is really cute. Theyíre very happy at school. They have very nice friends. We love America; weíve loved it from the minute that we arrived, so we have no plans on going back to the U.K. at all.
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Dannii Minogue - Marie Claire UK (Jan/2011)

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Elle Macpherson in Victoria Beckham AW/2010

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Melanie Chisholm

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Does anyone know if Dannii Minogue is required to wear VB while judging X Factor?

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Elle Macpherson again, wearing the same dress she wore @#455

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LOVE the bags....soo timeless looking!

Enjoyed reading that interview too. I love her work ethic....she seems to be doing things the right way and it's paying off.

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Victorias Satin-Crepe Bell Dress sold out first day! Go Girl!!

I wish I had all her dresses, they are so timeless and amazing-ly wonderful

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^ That is one shiny dress! I love the colour but I don't like the overall look of the dress. It looks like it could be made from PVC. It would be interesting to see what the dress and fabric feels and looks like in person.

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I saw a pair of black jeans of hers at Holt Renfrew, but they were made for people with really skinny legs

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the posts about the victoria beckham handbag line have been moved to their own thread in the handbags section...

thank you...

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Korean actress Kim Yun Jin in Victoria Beckham Fall 10 "self-modified" Asymmetric Corset Dress
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^ It doesn't look too bad from the front but it looks terrible from the back. She definitely should have worn the dress the way it was designed. The extra material hanging around the back looks so bad.

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