Today Victoria Beckham throws open the doors of her store in London’s Mayfair and Metro’s Naomi Mdudu was shown around by Mrs B herself.
Gliding in smoothly in a pair of sky-high Azzedine Alaïa ankle boots, Victoria approaches our small group of style writers quietly and, as if we don’t know who she is, says politely: ‘Hi, I’m Victoria, thanks for coming – I know how busy everyone is with fashion week right now.’
While, of course, we all try to look cool and unfazed, it’s like shaking hands with fashion royalty. In person Victoria looks far more beautiful than she appears in paparazzi shots – all glowing, lightly tanned skin, big brown eyes and dark glossy hair. And, oddly, she isn’t as super skinny in the flesh as she appears in photos.
Warm and friendly, she is wearing a T-shirt underneath a tailored jacket slung over her shoulders and not even the dust from the building gathering on her black skinny jeans distracts from how pulled together she is. No wonder she’s a style icon who has turned her fashion nous into a global business worth millions.
A store has been on the cards for a while. ‘It’s taken about two years,’ says Victoria. ‘We looked at a lot of different spaces but I fell in love with this one – it feels like my second home.’
The decor is a mix of graphic minimalism and welcoming touches – think raw polished concrete floors and an abundance of floor-to-ceiling mirrors. All the better for admiring yourself in her full catwalk collection, the (slightly) more affordable Victoria, Victoria Beckham sister line (or ‘VVB’ as she calls it), plus her handbags, debut collection of shoes and those sunglasses she is so often spotted wearing. I don’t want people to feel frightened or scared to come in
While Victoria has joked ‘I’ll be behind the till, David will be on the door, with Brooklyn working as a Saturday boy’, we took this with a pinch of salt (the place would be mobbed!) But you can rest assured that it won’t be a snooty boutique and there won’t be any Pretty Woman moments.
‘I think we’ve all been into stores where we’ve been made to feel like we shouldn’t really be there,’ she says. ‘I don’t want people to feel frightened or scared to come in. The public have come on this journey with me and continue to be on this journey with me so I want them to feel welcome.’
Despite showing her collections as part of New York Fashion Week, there was never any doubt that Victoria’s first store would be in London. ‘I grew up in London, my family live in London and my kids go to school in London. I’m proud to be from here,’ she says.
There’s even a chance that she might leave the Big Apple to show during the next London Fashion Week. ‘The space definitely lends itself to it. I’m not sure if it’s big enough for a show but definitely a presentation,’ she says.
Rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest fashion houses in the world (Dover Street Market, Christian Louboutin and McQ are all glossy neighbours), the new store feels like the final stamp of approval. ‘Yesterday I was standing in the window and I was looking out and I thought: “Wow, a store on Dover Street.” If someone had said to me five years ago that I’d be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed them.’