By Lisa Armstrong
City & Shore HOME Issue
Sipping a can of sparkling water, Victoria Beckham is almost entirely obscured by a dark baseball cap. She’s in Miami, talking through her next collection, which her team in London are showing on another part of the screen.
Such are the logistics of lockdown that Beckham, who flew to Miami with the rest of the family on Christmas Day, hasn’t seen the collection all together. “We didn’t plan to be in Miami this long, but then David realized how much work he needed to do [he co owns Inter Miami FC]. It’s not the easiest thing designing a collection and being Inspector of Home Schooling, but it’s good to see David back at work.”
Even their sourest detractors will concede that after 20 years of marriage, the Beckhams have good synergy. She doesn’t yet know when they’ll be able to return to London, which is why she was showing a cluster of editors this collection ahead of London Fashion Week https://us.victoriabeckham.com/, although all of it was shown digitally rather than physically.
Is there a hint here that Mrs. Beckham was keen to get her husband from under her feet? Ever loyal, she concedes he complained – a lot – about bumping into her mood-boards in their kitchen in the Cotswolds during the first lockdown. “We did that thing last spring of clearing out every single cupboard in the house,” she says.
This time, the novelty of working from home has worn off. She misses not having a physical show, even though it always stressed her out. “I’ll never complain about the stress again,” she says. “I get withdrawal symptoms from my team and from seeing the models in clothes, with their hair and make-up – it’s always inspiring.”
At least confinement prompted her to launch luxury blankets, cushions and scarves before Christmas, a good move given that people are investing in homeware. It’s no secret that her fashion label, along with many others, has struggled over the past year.
Figures released in January showed it still hadn’t turned a profit more than a decade after it launched. However, the halo effect that it, together with her catwalk shows and their starry front rows, casts over all the other tentacles of Brand Beckham (his line of sunglasses, her line of sunglasses, her collections for Reebok, his endless endorsements of everything from food and drink to cars) is probably worth the bills.
Still, I’m sure she’d love it to make money, even if only to silence her critics, and it’s clear she has been thinking about what people actually want to wear now – and after lockdowns lift. “I refuse to wear elasticated waists,” she says. “The only time you’ll see me in jogging pants” [from her collections for Reebok, obviously, as she quickly points out] “is in the gym.”
So while there are no joggers in this collection, it’s far more relaxed than even a year ago, with a shift away from tailoring to fluid, lightweight silhouettes and easy, layering pieces. And it’s large, because she’s combined pre collection (the more commercial line) with “main.” This might seem a technical point that only really means something to industry insiders, but it shows that team Beckham are thinking strategically about this business and streamlining.
There are a few blazers, some military touches and a lot of uplifting color, prints and denim. For a label that began exclusively with body-con dresses, the 2021 versions are quite the evolution: floaty, sheer and worn over stretch bodysuits. I hope the retailers stock up on some of the flat sparkly loafers – they’re just the ticket for bringing a sense of joy to a double denim look.
Beckham wears vintage denim most days at the moment – but dreams of glamor. For Valentine’s Day this year, she dressed up. “I [planned] something special, although these days, special is limited. If Amazon doesn’t stock it, basically it’s not happening.”
Lisa Armstrong writes for The Telegraph and The Interview People.
Photo: Victoria Beckham, photographed by Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times