Victoria Beckham staged her first show in nearly three years on Friday at a church in Paris.
The event was a milestone for the Spice Girl-turned-designer: not just because of the prestige and visibility of a Paris Fashion Week runway, but also as a chance to turn the page after the Covid-19 pandemic derailed plans to grow her brand into a profitable business.
“It’s always been a dream. If you love fashion, and if you want to be a designer, the ultimate is Paris,” she said. “Now feels like the right time; it feels like the start of a new chapter.”
Since her last London Fashion Week show in February 2020, the brand has restructured, Beckham explained at a press briefing before the show. It’s folded its diffusion line, VVB, into its main ready-to-wear collection and is repositioning the combined collection at a slightly lower price point. The brand also launched a leather goods offer — an important driver of sales and profits for luxury labels — and introduced VB Body, a carry-over line of body-hugging knitted basics starting at £90 ($100.44).
Beyond the changes to the business, Beckham said she felt her brand had reached a new level of creative maturity. “Everything feels quite elevated,” she said of the collection, which featured a sexier, more playful spin on her pared-back aesthetic.
Sheer dresses revealed the figure, as did peekaboo cutouts and mini-skirts. Figure-hugging two-piece sets and low-slung trousers exposed torsos — as is the fashion among many young consumers nostalgic for the early 2000s. Tailored jackets featured bonded lapels, with tassels and ruffles throughout the collection.
Eager to leave the comfort of the pandemic behind, Beckham said she had wanted to show clothing made to be worn out on the town.
“We talked so much about working from home and being comfortable — I’m sick of it,” she laughed. “I think we’re going to be engaging with a younger audience as well with this collection,” she added.
Victoria Beckham has yet to turn a profit after more than a decade in operation. Ahead of the pandemic, the brand was on a growth trajectory, but coronavirus stymied progress. For the fiscal year ending December 2020, sales for the fashion business fell 21 percent year-on-year to £28.1 million, yet operating losses almost halved to £5.6 million, according to public company filings. The company is set to report 2021 figures in October.
Recent months have seen the designer traveling back and forth to Paris as she prepared for the brand’s first show since the pandemic, working with French art director duo Jacobs and Talbourdet-Napoleone and French communications guru Lucien Pagès (an advisor to buzzy labels including Schiaparelli, Mugler and Jacquemus). In August, the designer landed a cover and profile in Le Monde’s influential M magazine.