Victoria Beckham

In less than a decade, the Victoria Beckham brand has grown to become a business encompassing ready-to-wear, a secondary line (Victoria, Victoria Beckham), eyewear and acessories, with an annual turnover of £30 million (S$62.6 million) in 2013, and more than 100 employees. Its founder, too, has been embraced by the industry’s toughest critics as a bona fide fashion designer.

Despite these accomplishments, however, changing people’s minds about what she’s capable of remains a fixture on the to-do list of Victoria Beckham: wife of footballer David Beckham, former member of the popular ’90s pop quintet, the Spice Girls, and now fashion designer and entrepreneur. Not all the roles are complementary.

Her fame as a girl-band member discredits her legitimacy as a fashion designer, but she ploughed on. Beckham made her mark in the unforgiving world of fashion in 2008 with the debut collection of her eponymous fashion label – a focused collection of 10 body-hugging, knee-length dresses. Slim-fitting, structured and sophisticated, the style of those dresses quickly became seen as her signature.

Victoria Beckham Spring 2015 Collection. (Photo from

That’s a good thing, if you don’t mind being regarded as a one-trick pony. Not that great if you’re looking to expand your repertoire as a fashion designer. For her Spring 2015 collection, Beckham showcased a range of looser, military-inflected looks. A critic for the influential fashion website concluded: “You couldn’t fault the cool precision of this collection, but it did make you long for the days when she put a little wiggle on it.”

Speaking to The Peak when she was in town in May to showcase her Fall/Winter 2015/16 collection at Singapore Fashion Week, Beckham – cutting a slim, poised figure in a black calf-length slip dress and heels – was unapologetic about moving on from those days. She says: “That was, what, eight years ago. I still wear those signature dresses, and they’re a huge part of my business. But I also want separates, I want tailoring, I want knits. There are other things in my wardrobe, and my team and I now have the knowledge to do those things. I didn’t in the beginning. I’ve had to learn.”


The mother of four is briskly forging ahead, even as her critics remain stubbornly attached to their idea of what she should be. Known as Posh Spice in her pop-star days, Beckham’s public image was that of a pouty performer in a tight little dress. Then, it seemed, she was a lover of fashion – but perhaps not quite a lover of taste.

The Victoria Beckham flagship store at Dover Street, London. The designer has now silenced critics with her brand’s annual turnover of $63 million dollars. (Photo from

But was that so? In a 2014 article about Beckham on the website The Business of Fashion, Zach Duane (CEO of the Victoria Beckham company) shares an anecdote showing how the Victoria Beckham name was the opposite of a selling point during the brand’s beginnings. Some personal shoppers at certain stores that carried Beckham’s designs removed the labels in order to get their clients to try on the clothes. Only after they were suitably impressed would the designer’s identity be revealed, so the story goes.

The tale illustrates how Beckham has silenced naysayers: with creations that reflect sheer hard work, and an eye for fashion that has been nurtured and honed. When presenting her collections, the designer is known to speak at length about fabrics, construction and details – knowledge gleaned from years of learning the ins and outs of her craft, as well as from collaborations with various established fashion and accessories brands prior to setting up her label.

Indeed, this education is an ongoing process that Beckham remains clearly passionate about. Last September, the brand opened its first flagship store in London’s Dover Street. For its founder, it is the perfect opportunity to gain first-hand understanding of her customer.


She says: “When I’m in the store, I want to know how she feels when she puts on a dress, what fabrics she likes, what seaming details she likes, what she wants each season.”

Even as it expands its partnerships with retailers and further develops its e-commerce site (which is “doing very well”, says Beckham), the company plans to open more standalone stores. Its next boutique will open in Hong Kong next year – and a Singapore store may not be far off. “At some point, I’d love to,” says Beckham, adding that “I love coming here. I think the women here really understand and appreciate fashion”.

With that, her minder signals that it is time to wrap up our interview. She has to move on; there are multitudinous details to look into before the fashion show that evening.

Says Beckham matter-of-factly: “I never sit back and go, ‘Ah, hasn’t everything gone well?’ We’re constantly going, going, going, because we’ve got to build on what we’ve done. For me, the main thing is to give my customer what she wants, because that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”


Available at:
Club 21, #01-01/02 Four Seasons Hotel