Text, Vivian Kelly
The Beckham branding machine rolls-on in 2012. Up until the H&M Collaboration, Victoria was the star, and David, the supporting actor.
I first really started paying attention to the English soccer hunk when W’s August 2007 issue arrived in my mailbox. As the cover line said, “…David and Victoria Beckham are determined to become the new American Idols.”
Wow. Prior to viewing Steven Klein’s arresting images in this issue, I’d dismissed the couple as yet another pop and sports coupling that was a bit “common”. Although they liked to wear expensive designer brands, and obviously spent a lot of money, they were not “fashion”, just have a look at the black leather his-n-her outfits in a shot snapped of them in 2003 and the goofily giddy expressions on their faces. In the August 2007 snaps however, they’re all business and there’s an intensity and focus present that made me want to know all about them and their projects. They are now on my official “watch” list.
Soon afterwards, “Posh’s [she's not called that anymore, and is now referred to as "Victoria" - FAR more elegant ]- launched her eponymous line and kept garnering favorable reviews for her chic ladylike dresses. There were fragrances, the 2009 underwear Armani ads and now David is making a play for the spotlight with his line for H&M.
Collaborations work if they’re meaningful, ie: the celebrity in question would actually WEAR said items. The press release I received from Paul Wilmot Communications stated that
“David and his design team worked with pieces from David’s own wardrobe, incorporating David’s own unique style aesthetic in order to create and build a meaningful bodywear brand from the outset.”
A winning point - there’s minimal waistband branding [thank you, David!] The “signature” is found in the design of the pieces themselves.
This approach is an ambitious one. Some of the world’s most foremost luxury brands take a similar approach: Chanel, Dolce & Gabanna, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, to name a few.
For this first collection, you will be able to choose from nine key products in their most basic form. The idea? To highlight the quality of the design.
There are four underpant styles – briefs, trunks, boxer briefs and woven boxers; three tops – David’s perfect T-shirt, vest and Henley; pyjama bottoms, and also long johns. If you live in the North East, you’ve got at least one piece of this cotton waffle fabric. My mousy flower print pants are admittedly frumpy, so I’ll be at H&M buying the X-Small ones, smug with the knowledge that they’re chic and cool.
Another thing about this collaboration is that’s it’s not just yet another a one-off, never to be repeated experiment. Mr. Beckham and H&M are in it for the long-haul. Neither partner views this partnership as a one-night stand. Instead, Mr. Beckham/Becks aims to create a collection of “new classics” that if all goes well, may become as legendary as Donna Karan’s black “Five Easy Pieces” were, only this time, guys, it’s YOUR turn!
The bodywear line will be available in around 1800 H&M stores in around 40 countries worldwide on February 2nd in time for Valentine’s Day.
Mark your calendars!