When Victoria Beckham’s eagerly anticipated London boutique opened recently, and the UK’s press clamored to claim the exclusive scoop, Victoria herself was 3,500 miles away in New York, delivering an impassioned speech on children and mothers suffering from HIV and AIDS in her role as a newly appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador.
It’s a world away from the image of the Spice Girl that a whole generation grew up with, when Posh Spice pointed and pouted her way through the hit single Wannabe with bandmates Baby, Scary, Sporty and Ginger in 1996.
David and Victoria are now on the cover of Paris Vogue, and are regulars at Buckingham Palace, including the royal wedding and David’s OBE. They list their friends as A-listers such as Tom Cruise and Will Smith.
When Victoria announced the launch of her eponymous fashion label in 2008, much of the cynical fashion press sat poised to write off the experience. But Victoria proved her doubters wrong. The initial prêt-à-porter collection of 10 beautifully constructed styles proved a revelation: the critics were impressed, department stores scrambled to place orders and, at Selfridges, customers snapped up the 58 dresses stocked in a matter of hours.
‘I was very aware that people were expecting very short clothes, probably quite revealing, and I really went against that and showed the other side of me,’ Victoria has commented of the launch. ‘For a long time, I was a bit of a laughing stock,’ she’s also said. ‘And while everybody was busy laughing, what was I doing? I was laying the foundation to what I have in place now.’
As a perfectionist and self-confessed control freak, her total dedication has undoubtedly contributed to the respect Victoria Beckham now commands, including support from the most difficult woman to please in fashion: Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Proof, if any were required, lies in her stunning new Dover Street boutique. Doing away with the usual glitzy window displays in favor of minimalism, a huge entrance door slides open to reveal a towering column of sunglasses, and a projection of the video of Victoria’s AW14 catwalk show at the top of the staircase. A mirrored glass ceiling reflects pieces from the more affordable Victoria Victoria Beckham label on this floor.
Upstairs, the beautiful AW14 ready to wear collection, offering a fluid silhouette, is suspended from gold chains that hang from the key feature: a monumental geometric-patterned ceiling, which wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery. In fact, there is even a Damien Hirst piece in the lower floor’s pop-up-events-cum-personal-shopping area.
And, as time goes on, it’s not just about Victoria and David, it’s a family affair. The children have become fashionistas in their own right: Brooklyn has graced Man About Town; Romeo shot a Burberry campaign, aged 10; and Harper is seen on the front row next to Anna Wintour. Victoria Beckham, queen of fashion, long may you reign.
Victoria Beckham, 36 Dover St, London W1S 4FF