Victoria Beckham planning major launch of sustainable beauty line this fall
Victoria Beckham is planning a major launch of her sustainable beauty line in the fall, when she debuts her first independent makeup and skincare collection.
Named Victoria Beckham Beauty, the collection will be the first since the British designer discontinued her partnership with Estée Lauder, a highly successful collaboration with the New York-based beauty giant.
“It’s about being very sustainable, since all the packaging is post-consumer and about keeping the quality high, but being more democratic. So, we are pushing prices a little lower,” explained Beckham over coffee in a central Paris hotel.
This wing of her business will be managed by CEO Sarah Creal, who had previously overseen the designer’s project with Estée Lauder and worked with Prada and Bobbi Brown. Victoria Beckham Beauty will also be based in New York, though its launch will be in London during the next fashion season in September.
The house is planning a direct-to-consumer business model via victoriabeckham.com, with the fulfilment provided by an outside logistics company. She does not plan to retail Victoria Beckham Beauty in major department stores, though the designer confessed she may consider some unique specialty boutiques.
“I want something very focused. To make the sort of products that I need in my own life,” said Beckham, whose range will cover makeup, skin care, fragrance and wellness.
Her plan is part of an industry trend that has seen many women trend-setters drop traditional licensing deals in favour of launching their own cosmetics companies – everyone from Kylie Jenner to Kim Kardashian.
The UK designer has also worked with Ezra Petronio, the noted French art director who has handled beauty campaigns for Chloé, Prada and Helmut Lang, to develop the imagery and graphics for her new business.
“We’re tweaking the brand name just a little,” smiled the designer, who was in town with her design team for bonding and inspiration. While in Paris they plan to visit several historic fashion archives, check out the Picasso museum and shop a few vintage stores.
Beckham’s business has clearly gained a new lease of life since London-based luxury investment vehicle Neo took a 30% stake for some £30 million in 2017.
“I always say it was like opening the bonnet of the car and giving our engine a right old fine tuning,” said Beckham, dressed in high-waist and slightly flared long black pants; and a cable knit tank over a signature pointy collared silk shirt.
In 2017, Victoria Beckham Ltd did post an operating loss of £10 million, though on a sturdy 17% gain in revenues to £42.5 million. And though the red ink caused lots of newspaper headlines, there is a sense that the company is now clearly moving in the right direction and highly likely to return to profitability in the near future.
Beckham also brought on board dynamic French executive Marie de Reynies, who has helped raised the level of sophistication of the signature ready-to-wear collection.
In another development, Beckham is bringing her women’s pre-collection to Milan for the first time, and like a number of other houses, such as Prada or Alberta Ferretti, will unveil her latest ideas during Milan’s menswear season in June.
It’s been a very busy couple of years for Beckham, including linking up with mass market giant Target, “which meant that thousands of women in the Midwest could actually discover what a Victoria Beckham dress felt like,” and with Reebok for a sneaker and sportswear collection, famously posing with Shaquille O’Neal. This January, she even hosted a dinner upstairs in the Frick Museum for Sotheby’s project “The Female Triumphant,” on female Old Masters.
“The response was incredible. David and I collect contemporary art, so finding out more about Old Masters has been very interesting,” added Beckham, who has had Old Masters from Sotheby’s installed in her flagship in Mayfair, London.
Moreover, her return to the London catwalks in September 2018, after a decade on NYC runways, garnered highly complimentary reviews, as did her most recent show in February inside the Tate Britain.
“I think I have had a love-hate relationship with the British press, so I was nervous about returning to London, but in the end, the response was overwhelmingly positive,” says Beckham, who splits her time between her homes in Holland Park and a country house in Oxfordshire.
Beckham also debuted her Youtube channel at that Tate Britain show, and eventually produced a half dozen programmes… “and we still have a couple in the pipeline.”
“It turned out to be quite a lot of work. You really needed to edit a lot. Given all the attention there is on me, you have to be careful what you put out there. But it was a good experience and Derek Blasberg is great, so I am glad we have done it,” she explains.
A truly Stakhanovite figure, who has managed to parley her pop-star fame into a critically acclaimed career as a fashion designer, one wonders if the always-put-together Beckham ever takes a break.
Turns out Beckham is planning a summer in Europe with hubby David and their four kids. “We went to Bali last year which was beautiful, but there was an earthquake, or at least three days of tremors; and monsoons and the kids were all jet-lagged, so it is staying closer to home this year!”
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