T H E  I N T E R V I E W: 
Victoria Beckham
On the heels of her new Pre-Fall collection, the British designer talks fashion that functions in real life
by Megan Hayes

T H E  I N T E R V I E W: 
Victoria Beckham
On the heels of her new Pre-Fall collection, the British designer talks fashion that functions in real life
by Megan Hayes

In the wake of Phoebe Philo’s departure from Celine, where she had held the position of creative director for a decade, much has been made of who might cater to the women she had serviced so well with her designs. Names have been tossed around and predictions made. However, few designers are more aligned with what was undoubtedly the key to her success—a sense of what real women want seen through the lens of personal experience—than Victoria Beckham.

“I want to create pieces that make a woman’s life easier, clothes that she can really wear,” says Beckham, a working mom of four who certainly gets the need for clothes that function. Glance at her new Pre-Fall collection and it’s filled with items that do exactly that: easy, multi-occasion dresses, polished knits, well-tailored, yet not too “9-5” trousers. Nothing requires too much thought. Each is effortless and classic, yet never boring as Beckham is notoriously thoughtful with color and fabric. And, intended for the modern, on-the-go woman, they’re all designed to travel well, too.

In the wake of Phoebe Philo’s departure from Celine, where she had held the position of creative director for a decade, much has been made of who might cater to the women she had serviced so well with her designs. Names have been tossed around and predictions made. However, few designers are more aligned with what was undoubtedly the key to her success—a sense of what real women want seen through the lens of personal experience—than Victoria Beckham.

“I want to create pieces that make a woman’s life easier, clothes that she can really wear,” says Beckham, a working mom of four who certainly gets the need for clothes that function. Glance at her new Pre-Fall collection and it’s filled with items that do exactly that: easy, multi-occasion dresses, polished knits, well-tailored, yet not too “9-5” trousers. Nothing requires too much thought. Each is effortless and classic, yet never boring as Beckham is notoriously thoughtful with color and fabric. And, intended for the modern, on-the-go woman, they’re all designed to travel well, too.

“My clothes need to reflect the hectic lives we all lead these days,” she explains knowingly. “I think about comfort, and what makes someone feel good, whether that comes from using the best fabrics or adding an extra pocket onto a blazer to make a garment truly useful.” There is something to be said for clothes that someone has thought through for you, and has crafted with your needs in mind. How special do you feel when someone predicted you’d prefer a zipper there for ease or drape there to better flatter? Admittedly, as a design philosophy it may sound simple. However, if nailing the balance between practicality and desirability were the norm, countless women wouldn’t be mourning the loss of Philo—or flocking to Beckham, a designer now proven to be a destination for it.

“My clothes need to reflect the hectic lives we all lead these days,” she explains knowingly. “I think about comfort, and what makes someone feel good, whether that comes from using the best fabrics or adding an extra pocket onto a blazer to make a garment truly useful.” There is something to be said for clothes that someone has thought through for you, and has crafted with your needs in mind. How special do you feel when someone predicted you’d prefer a zipper there for ease or drape there to better flatter? Admittedly, as a design philosophy it may sound simple. However, if nailing the balance between practicality and desirability were the norm, countless women wouldn’t be mourning the loss of Philo—or flocking to Beckham, a designer now proven to be a destination for it.

But the key is that Beckham, who just celebrated her label’s ten-year anniversary in late 2018, isn’t producing clothes in a vacuum. In fact, social media has had a huge impact on her ability to interact directly with her customers. “I love using Instagram as a way of connecting with them,” she says, often inviting her over 24 million followers to help her with everything from choosing an outfit for an event to deciding which shoes pair best with a given bag—“essential when I don’t have time to think for myself,” she says. With that type of real access comes a very engaged audience and one, as Glossier’s Emily Weiss has found elsewhere, that makes for an ideal focus group. “It’s a great platform for me to get real-time feedback on my collections and an understanding of what they want from their clothes.”

Fashion’s new way forward has also ensured Beckham’s signature masculine tailoring feels particularly relevant. When she wore the grey tweed suit from Pre-Fall to her husband David’s Kent & Curwen menswear show earlier this month, her fans went crazy for it the way they did her body-con dresses years ago. Are women starved for a great suit? Maybe. (Though, you’ll certainly find one here.) But it’s not often you see one in such a modern context—which is what has over the years made her the ultimate brand ambassador.

But the key is that Beckham, who just celebrated her label’s ten-year anniversary in late 2018, isn’t producing clothes in a vacuum. In fact, social media has had a huge impact on her ability to interact directly with her customers. “I love using Instagram as a way of connecting with them,” she says, often inviting her over 24 million followers to help her with everything from choosing an outfit for an event to deciding which shoes pair best with a given bag—“essential when I don’t have time to think for myself,” she says. With that type of real access comes a very engaged audience and one, as Glossier’s Emily Weiss has found elsewhere, that makes for an ideal focus group. “It’s a great platform for me to get real-time feedback on my collections and an understanding of what they want from their clothes.”

Fashion’s new way forward has also ensured Beckham’s signature masculine tailoring feels particularly relevant. When she wore the grey tweed suit from Pre-Fall to her husband David’s Kent & Curwen menswear show earlier this month, her fans went crazy for it the way they did her body-con dresses years ago. Are women starved for a great suit? Maybe. (Though, you’ll certainly find one here.) But it’s not often you see one in such a modern context—which is what has over the years made her the ultimate brand ambassador.

Ask her how she hopes women feel in her designs and the answer is “the best version of themselves”. Her clothes are the kind you feel yourself in, armed with a quiet confidence that comes through sharp design and thoughtful details. She consistently aims to empower women rather than turn them into someone new. How refreshing.

Ask her how she hopes women feel in her designs and the answer is “the best version of themselves”. Her clothes are the kind you feel yourself in, armed with a quiet confidence that comes through sharp design and thoughtful details. She consistently aims to empower women rather than turn them into someone new. How refreshing.

Shop The Collection

SHOP MORE: 9-to-5 chic in our edit of Wardrobe Staples

SHOP MORE: 9-to-5 chic in our edit of Wardrobe Staples