From Posh Spice To Fashion Icon: The Rise Of Victoria Beckham

Building and expanding her fashion empire, being one half of a world-famous power couple, and raising a brood of four which has now expanded to include a daughter-in-law, Victoria Beckham’s life is a series of admirable achievements. But they didn’t exactly come easy…

By Nichola Marie

It has been 10 years since pop sensation turned fashion entrepreneur Victoria Beckham (VB) was named the UK’s top entrepreneur of 2014 by the British business magazine ‘Management Today’. Her eponymous fashion label, launched in 2008, went on to become a global phenomenon. Cut to 2022, the brand’s revenue increased by 13%, valuing it at nearly $50 million. This success has only continued to snowball, with annual revenue surging by 42%, propelling the label’s worth to an estimated $70 million. 

It’s Raining Profit
And Ms Beckham isn’t letting the grass grow under her stilettoed feet. This month, news broke of her pivoting from high-end fashion to the high street. Retail chain Mango announced it was collaborating with the Spice Girl turned designer on a collection of slip dresses, knitwear and accessories, describing it as “a perfect blend of classic British luxury.” In an interview, VB said that she had decided to work with Mango to “speak to a wider audience in a way that feels relevant to my brand and retains my aesthetic and DNA.”

According to ‘The Guardian’, 2022 was a milestone year for VB, with her reportedly “turning a profit for the first time after 14 years in business.” The financial report filing saw special credit given to her beauty line, which includes bestsellers such as a $50 highlighter stick and a $40 eyeliner.

The report also states, “The decision to re-stage her fashion show at the Paris Fashion Week also paid off with an earned media value of more than £16m. Ahead of the show, she unveiled her debut fragrance collection, which, according to Launchmetrics, generated an extra £1m in media impact value in discussions both online and on social media.” VB has clearly been making all the right moves.

Gaining Acceptance

VB has long since proved she is much more than the ‘Eliza Doolittle’ of fashion. Her impeccable insight on what women want to wear and her keen ability to capitalise on her celeb value, have held her in good stead, marking her as far more than a figurehead. As she said in an interview, “The final decision is always mine. It’s really important that every aspect of what we do – the clothes, the swing tags, the shelves, everything – represents my point of view, because that’s what the brand stands for.” Known for its cutthroat nature, the fashion industry, in turn, embraced her choices. And the recognition followed… The Victoria Beckham label was named designer brand of the year at the British Fashion Awards in the UK in 2011. The following year, the brand was assessed as the star performer in the Beckham family’s business interests. The ‘Daily Telegraph’ noted the transition from WAG to fashion designer had been more successful than most had predicted. “She has gathered a significant celebrity following and won over the scathing fashion pack who now clamour for a ticket to her bi-annual show at New York Fashion Week.” In 2017, her victory was complete when she was appointed an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the fashion industry.

The Thrill Of It
Asked whether she had already achieved everything she had wanted to, in an interview with ‘Vogue France’ (October 2023), VB shared, “This is just the beginning. I have lots of ambitions, and I work hard to achieve my goals. I never wait for things to just fall into my lap. It’s such an exciting time. This year, we made a profit! This takes time, especially for an independent brand. …I want the house to develop, all while remaining authentic, whether that be fashion, beauty, perfumes… There are so many things I want to do.”

Pointing out that they have four collections per year: Two main collections, and two pre-collections, she clearly enjoys the challenge. “It’s my job,” she says. “People ask me if I feel the pressure, but that’s my role. If I didn’t do this, I don’t know what I would do. I like this intellectual exercise because it’s not just ready-to-wear. It’s not just clothes. There are handbags, shoes, glasses, makeup, beauty, perfume… It’s a lot to manage but I also have an incredible team.” At the core of her success is her unrelenting drive. 

Passion For Fashion
Fashion is something VB has always been drawn to. At school, she would personalise her school uniforms and those of her classmates too. “I also started a trend that consisted of wearing a pair of socks pulled up high, then another pair worn over them, pulled down low, creating the illusion of longer legs. Then, you shorten the skirt.” The trend took off and spread all around the school! She was around 12 at the time. While her fairly simple background meant she didn’t know anything about big labels, she always took an interest in clothes and appreciated them when her mother took her shopping. 

All that changed when, aged 20, she became one of the five young women selected to create the music group Spice Girls. The 1974-born Victoria Adams was christened ‘Posh Spice’ by the media; the moniker was to endure. Global fame came when the band’s debut album ‘Spice’ released in 1996, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. The Spice Girls became a cultural phenomenon. A year later, the group released a second full-length album, Spiceworld, and appeared in ‘Spice World: The Movie’. This period also marked her serious affair with fashion. 

As VB shared, while the other Spice Girls weren’t too excited when they received clothes, she was different. “I took things into my own hands and I managed to receive Tom Ford and Gucci clothes. It was amazing as I would never have been able to buy clothes like that for myself. This was the moment when I first started getting passionate about fashion. One of my first big fashion experiences, during the Spice Girls era, was when Donatella Versace invited me to a fashion show in Milan along with my best friend. The first place that her team took me was the Versace store. They told me that I could have what I wanted – a real ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming’ moment.”

She would make small alterations to the designer clothes too, so that they would suit her better. It was soon after she and husband David Beckham enjoyed success with their celebrity perfume, and she was also working as a designer for other labels, that she decided to launch her label. And there has been no looking back.

Growing In Stature
In 1997, VB began a relationship with English football (soccer) player David Beckham. Dubbed ‘Posh and Becks’, the couple had a son, named Brooklyn, in March 1999. Four months later, they married in a lavish ceremony at a castle outside Dublin. Their family further grew with the birth of two more sons, Romeo (2002) and Cruz (2005), and a daughter, Harper (2011). Subjected to intense scrutiny from the British media from the early days of the marriage, the attention hasn’t dimmed. The lens has softened, though, with respect, admiration and love for her and her famous family growing enormously.
Growing increasingly open over the years, VB regularly shares insights into their charmed life, whether it’s celebrating Easter 2024 on a yacht, wearing fluffy bunny ears, or even darker periods which followed news of her husband’s alleged affair with his personal assistant which VB discussed in the Netflix series ‘Beckham’. She called it, “The hardest period for us because it felt like the world was against us. And here’s the thing: We were against each other, if I’m being completely honest.”

While she credits social media with helping people see her real personality, namely as a hard worker, a loving wife, a devoted mother, and also a doting mother-in-law to son Brooklyn’s wife, Nicola Peltz, she also points out that she never posts to prove anything to anyone. “I stopped worrying about what people think of me a long time ago.” Touché, Ms Beckham!

After braving the many storms, as she hit 50 on April 17th, she basks in the love of family, friends and fans. Commemorating the occasion with a montage of clips of her of various ages and with their children, husband David posted on Instagram: “Happy birthday to my beautiful wife. As you head into this birthday, you should look back and be proud of what you have accomplished, achieved & what you have built, Posh Spice, business woman & of course marrying an England captain,” he teased. “But your biggest success is your children, you guide them, love them & teach them… They love you beyond words, we all love you so much x Have a special day, you deserve it all, 50 and fit.”

Of course, he didn’t need to add ‘fab’ – we know that already. 

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