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What the Mango Collaboration Means for Victoria Beckham’s Business


When Victoria Beckham debuted her first collection of just 10 dresses in a luxury hotel suite at the Waldorf Astoria in New York in 2008, she told the sceptical assembly of the world’s most powerful fashion editors that she had “spent a lifetime wanting to do this.”

“It’s what I always dreamed of since I customised my school uniform when I was 7 years old,” she said. “Then along came the Spice Girls which opened a lot of doors for me. And, let’s be honest, closed a lot. But those days are over. I was never going to be the world’s best singer, but I hope I can be a good designer.”

The debut dresses immediately impressed the editors, who described the designs as “classy” and “sophisticated.” Vogue’s runway editor said Beckham’s sheath and shift dresses would “sell not on the power of her name but on the sophistication of their cut and fit.”

Since then, Beckham’s designs have been worn by Lady Gaga, Meghan Markle and Kendall Jenner, to name a few of her celebrity fans.

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the business, which has lost money every year since its launch in New York 16 years ago. Total losses for Victoria Beckham Ltd amount to more than £65 million ($82 million), and David Beckham’s company has injected millions to keep it afloat.

Now, Victoria Beckham’s designs – previously unaffordable for most people – have hit the high street in a capsule collaboration with Mango.

The deal is expected to help tip her business into profit for the first time and has got some speculating whether Victoria, who is known in the fashion industry simply as VB, may one day eclipse her husband in money-making potential.

It’s impossible to know just how rich the Beckhams are. The couple, who live mostly in a £30 million ($38 million) white stucco townhouse in west London but also own an apartment in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, a villa on the nearby Palm Jumeirah, and a super yacht called Seven, have a combined fortune of £425 million ($600 million). This puts them 325th in the latest comprehensive guesstimate by the Sunday Times rich list.

It ascribes most of the wealth to David, who sold a 55 percent stake in his brand management firm, DB Ventures, to US firm Authentic Brands for £200 million.

David joined star names such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, whose brands are part of the Authentic stable, which also includes Reebok, Juicy Couture and Hunter wellington boots.

The latest accounts for his company DRJB Holdings – which stands for David Robert Joseph Beckham – show revenue in 2022 more than doubled from £34 million ($43 million) to £72.6 million ($91.7 million), although pre-tax profits fell from £23.6 million ($29.8 million) to £10.8 million ($13.6 million) , because of an increase in administrative expenses. The company paid out dividends of £827,500, down from £6.3 million a year earlier.

DRJB includes his TV production business, Studio 99, which produced the four-part “Beckham” documentary on Netflix that took the top spot in 59 countries, and the Ronnie O’Sullivan biopic “The Edge of Everything.”

Victoria Beckham Ltd, which has expanded into bags, fragrances and beauty products as well as fashion, increased revenue by 44 percent in 2022 to £58.8 million ($74.3 million), and narrowed pre-tax losses from £5.9 million to £3.1 million.

At an operating level, losses fell from £3.9 million to £900,000 signalling progress on the path to profitability. The directors declared “2022 marks a turning point where the group became profitable.” However, the couple and minority investor private equity firm NEO Investments Partners injected a further £6.9 million since the year end.

David Belhassen, founder and managing partner of NEO, which invested £30 million in VBL in 2017 for an undisclosed but significant minority stake, told WWD recently that sales had increased by 50 percent and earnings before expenses had “significantly multiplied” in 2023.

“The house of VB is now fully live, and a reality. It was a dream for Victoria and I when we partnered, and it is happening. We are now embarking on a new phase with only the sky as the limit,” he said.

Her Victoria Beckham Beauty business reported a tripling of customers in 2022, and won 28 industry awards. The bestseller is her Satin Kajal liner, which is now available in 17 colours.

Jonathan Siboni, chief executive of data intelligence company Luxurynsight, said many people in the fashion industry had been too quick to dismiss Beckham as “just a Spice Girl and not a businessperson.”

“But they couldn’t have been more wrong,” he said. “The brand has succeeded because of her. She has fought back, she has evolved, she has shown huge amounts of resilience.

“Yes, there have been times when the brand was tacky, and produced things that didn’t work,” he said. “But just like David Beckham as a footballer, you can’t always be the best. What matters is not one game, or even one season, but the big picture.”

Siboni said Victoria had succeeded in creating a brand that is “her vision, but also more than just her.” “In fashion, some brands can’t survive without the founder, others like Dior and Chanel continue to thrive,” he said.

“She has already taken steps to disconnect the Victoria Beckham brand from the person, and even if she is not on TV or social media for a few months, people will still buy her clothes.”

She is unlikely to disappear from our screens anytime soon. More than 30 years after the Spice Girls were formed after an advert in the Stage newspaper for “streetwise, outgoing, ambitious, and dedicated” 18- to 23-year-olds, Beckham still regularly goes viral on social media.

Most recently last weekend when all five reunited for an impromptu performance at Beckham’s 50th birthday party at Mayfair private members restaurant Oswald’s in front of Tom Cruise, Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria. She has 39.2 million followers on Instagram and 2.2 million on TikTok.

Andy Milligan, founder of the branding consultancy The Caffeine Partnership and author of “Brand It Like Beckham,” said he credited a large part of the couple’s success to their seeming authenticity on social media and TV. “They project an image that, despite their exceedingly glamorous lifestyle, makes them feel approachable, they’re very relatable to us,” he said.

“You saw that in the Netflix documentary when David teases her about claiming to be working class despite her dad driving her to school in a Rolls-Royce, and when he queued with the public to pay his respects to the Queen.”

Milligan said he expects the Beckhams’ businesses will continue to grow and “we will look back on them as a great British export”.

“What they have as a couple is extremely rare, because they have sport, fashion and popular culture, so they can dominate both the front and back pages.”

He says partnering with Mango is likely to turbo-boost Victoria’s brand as it “gives her much more reach with products in physical stores in just about every city I can think of.”

Milligan says Victoria has a reputation for picking effective brand and business partners, and Mango works because it is “a desirable brand, and affordable rather than luxury … which will keep her relevant to a younger generation.

“Victoria hasn’t in the past received the credit she deserves as a very smart businessperson. She’s so much more than a Spice Girl, she’s clearly a talented designer and has a brilliant business brain.”

By Rupert Neate Wealth

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