Victoria Beckham. Where do I begin? I was lucky to get the ticket to see Queen Victoria climb gracefully onto the stage and sit with even more grace on one of the cream sofas. Opposite Alexandra Shulman was sitting a woman who made her name and herself a brand. If you follow my blog or are my personal friend you know that I love her. I got off the subway with huge expectations and she turned out to be more than I would ever dream she would be like. I am not sure why the press created that cold, sad, sulking image of her – a passionate, warm, intelligent woman. ‘Everyone thinks that I’m going to be such a cow. I get it – because I think exactly the same when I see the pictures.’ She didn’t start her own brand to prove anyone wrong. She felt in her gut that’s what she should do and I’m so glad her gut doesn’t speak a foreign language!
Of course she is a bit out of this world. A great businesswoman, who managed to establish herself as a serious designer, married to the hottest man on the planet, a mother of 4 children who plans her business meeting around the parent-teacher meetings. How does she do it without driving herself mad as perfectionists do? She just gets on with it. And she clearly stated ‘I’m happy’. Now that’s something we would never expect her to say out loud in public.
She designs clothes that she would like to wear herself (and she does wear them). But she also challenges herself by taking on the pieces of a woman’s wardrobe that she wouldn’t necessarily go for. Her brand evolved into five different categories and now covers a new sunglasses line as well. Before she established her own brand she designed lines of accessories for others. You cannot say that she came into the business out of nowhere, unprepared. Although it seemed like it looking at her outfits from early 2000’s. So far she’s done 6 Vogue covers all over the world. ‘Who would have thought?’ she says shrugging her shoulders coyly looking at the audience.
As a businesswoman she makes sure that all aspects of the brand are taken care of. She does realise that putting an extra pocket on the dress will make the process of making it more expensive and that will, of course, influence the price on the tag. As a designer she very often gets inspired by the Beckham family life: baseball shirts that Romeo wears or beanie hats that David gets seen in a lot. She has raised a lot of eyebrows when announcing that she was going to design. ‘From those who could raise their eyebrows’ she joked about the industry. Victoria believes it wasn’t her person but the clothes that she designed that were judged by critics. But was it really the clothes? With a popstar career behind her she could not escape the preconceptions. But she did make them fade with time.
Victoria is a planner. I guess you have to be if you’re a mum of four with a husband that is out of town and a pretty responsible job. She thinks what she’s going to wear the night before, just like us. Juggling home, business, shopping and all the duties that a normal people have isn’t easy for her either. When Alexandra Shulman asks her how she copes with it all she makes the public laugh: ‘Dark glasses, Alex’. No diva, no I-am-fabulous-look-at-me attitude. When talking about her clients she always refers to my customer in singular. She doesn’t treat women that buy her clothes as a crowd, she thinks of them individually. She seems to be her own customer as well: ‘I enter a new category when I can’t find what I want on the market’. It all seems so natural.
She also comes across as some kind of a modern feminist (a Beyoncé-like one) who isn’t afraid to admit that there’s more pressure in this world put on women. ‘When a man goes to work in the morning it’s fine. Women have to make sure that the house, children and other things are taken care of’. Guilt about being a working mum is also pouring out of her. Apart from being a celebrity and one of the best-dressed women on the planet she is also a mum whose baby pukes and eldest son doesn’t want to go to bed at night. But most importantly, she is a fashion designer, who measures time in seasons. A normal perosn would say ‘5 years ago’. Victoria says ’10 seasons ago’.
Before she disappears off the stage she thanks everyone for coming and Vogue for inviting her. And she makes the public laugh out loud by saying ‘If you’d told me how many people there were going to be, I might have got up and sung a song. Now that would’ve been a worry.’