- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Ten years ago there was a high degree of scepticism about a former Spice Girl launching a clothing label, with many in the fashion industry dismissing the notion as a crazy idea that would never take off. Victoria Beckham, however, proved everyone wrong, her debut collection during New York Fashion Week in 2008 wasn’t about cashing in, like many other celebrity lines at the time, her ambition was much higher, she wanted to build her own brand, a high-end luxury designer brand.
For other celebrities, whether singers, reality stars or even WAGs, the fast-buck was generally mass-produced clothing or beauty lines, there was Eve and ‘Fetish’ her urban streetwear line inspired by her infamous paw tattoos, which didn’t really last very long, while Paris Hilton attempted to take over the fashion world with her casual wear line for Dollhouse, which featured T-shirts plastered with Hilton's face that lasted less than a year.
Other failed celebrity fashion endeavours in 2008 included Heidiwood, a teen line by The Hills Heidi Montag for now-defunct American retailer Anchor Blue, while Lindsay Lohan launched a leggings line named after her idol, Marilyn Monroe, 6126 by Lindsay Lohan, which went onto close in 2011. Even Jennifer Lopez didn’t managed to get her first fashion line to be a success, with her urban-inspired brand, J.Lo launched in partnership with Tommy Hilfiger's brother, Andy shutting after a just a year.
Victoria Beckham 10-years in the fashion
It is safe to say that Beckham’s idea of a fashion empire was met with a lot of scepticism, however, the former singer was clever, she consulted with Roland Mouret, who was also managed by 19, the Simon Fuller-run management company that backed the Spice Girls and her fashion label. Even that came with criticism with many assuming that Mouret was the design genius behind her Victoria Beckham Collection debut at the Waldorf Hotel in New York all those years ago.
Coverage wasn’t something that was in short supply for Beckham, as the wife of one of the England’s biggest footballers it means that the press isn’t far behind, however, mass coverage doesn’t guarantee that a collection will sell out, especially when the dresses are over the 1,000 pound price point. That’s where Beckham became savvy, fuelling her fashion empire with her eyewear and sunglasses range and her DVB denim line, as well as the creation of her lower-priced diffusion line, Victoria By Victoria Beckham.
To enhance international appeal, Beckham has also released limited edition collaborations with US chain Target, as well as launch into beauty with Estee Lauder. All moves that enhance the Victoria Beckham brand to place focus firmly back upon her ready-to-wear collections.
Victoria Beckham shows in London for the first time for SS19
For spring/summer 2019, Beckham looks back over the brand’s first decade, as well as looking forward, explaining in her show notes that the collection “explores the codes of the brand, the identity I’ve built up over the ten years since my first show”.
Beckham does that with elegance and confidence, proving just how far she has come, with a line filled with choice - from slender to wide trousers, midi to full-length skirts, as well as eased shapes and fitted forms, and a mix of masculine and feminine offering tailoring alongside fluidity. This was highlighted in the very first look a fluid trouser suit featuring a masculine jacket softened with a lace camisole.
“It’s about dressing not our woman, but our women – reflected in our cast this season, as well as embedded in the clothes,” states Beckham, indicating to 47 year-old British model Stella Tennant who opened her show, as well as models Edie Campbell and Liya Kebede.
The Victoria Beckham codes were the focus of this homecoming to London, her collection was homage to creating the ultimate capsule wardrobe, with everything on offer from tunic-style dresses to strappy slip dresses worn over skinny trousers with ankle slits, while printed co-ords featuring printed shirts and maxi skirts provided statement pieces, and tailored fitted jackets in block colours and floral prints become the ultimate ‘go-to’ for a smarter take.
Accessories were also strong, with framed bucket bags, oversized totes, and cross body bags seen on the catwalk with cowboy boots, crochet mules and metallic ‘dance’ ankle boots.
As with all her collections, it was commercially astute, catering to her luxury clients who are looking for a whole look from head-to-toe, which Beckham herself beautifully models all-year round, as well as show how far she has come, and that she is looking to the future with her multi-layered aesthetic that focuses on modern tailoring.
Victoria Beckham beat Burberry in terms of LFW social stats
As well as making a buzz on the catwalk with her collection, the designer also beat Burberry in terms of London Fashion Week social stats, with Beckham making almost double in terms of media impact value than the British heritage brand, according to marketing and analytics platform Launchmetrics.
While there were significantly more posts about Burberry, 46,000+ posts online and on social, compared with just 8,200 posts about Beckham's show, Beckham was named the top brand account of the season, because her media impact value (MIV) was calculated as higher.
According to Launchmetrics, the MIV algorithm that measures the impact of relevant media placements on all channels - online, social, print, inclusive of paid, owned and earned mediums in order to derive a quantitative number for performance outcomes, found that Beckham made around 10 million US dollars, while Burberry earned about 5.5 million US dollars.
Beckham also took the top instagram post, with a shot of her after the show with David and Brooklyn Beckham, which has 1.3 million engagement and equates to a MIV of 529,000 US dollars. In general, Launchmetrics notes that Beckham’s backstage imagery produced a stronger MIV than photos of the catwalk looks.
Images: courtesy of Victoria Beckham