IT'S A PANDEMIC

Victoria Beckham Gets Real About Runway Show Costs

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/BFC/Getty Images for BFC

Victoria Beckham is feeling indie fashion’s financial sting. Despite her various notable titles (former member of England’s biggest pop group, fashion and beauty business maven, OBE, wife of David Beckham), the designer revealed in a new interview with the Evening Standard that she can’t afford to put on a runway show for her namesake luxury label.

After spending four months working remotely from Miami, Beckham sat down in her London atelier with editor Emily Sheffield to reveal that her namesake brand has suffered greatly due to the pandemic. The 47-year-old designer said she hopes to be “out of this pandemic by September,” whereupon fashion week is scheduled to take place. When asked whether she would put on a runway show for spring 2022, she stated she wasn’t sure whether that would be financially feasible.

“I don’t know. If I’m being very honest, the pandemic has really affected my business. Will I be in a position to spend all that money on a show? I don’t know. Probably not. It will probably still be digital,” she said. “I do still believe the best way to see fashion is a fashion show. It’s hard to find a way that can beat that. We’ve tried, the best we can to show that through digital. [But] I’m just being optimistic and realistic at the same time. Doing fashion shows costs a lot of money.”

“I did hope when the pandemic first hit that it would make the fashion industry a more even playing field,” Beckham added. “I thought, everybody’s going to be forced to be more creative, it’s going to be less about spending money on big shows, flying editors from one side of the world to the other. Sadly, that didn’t happen. The big shows are still happening from the big houses. I think it’s great for the people that can do that. But for the smaller brands, it makes it a very, very difficult place to try and compete. I would imagine that in September, the big houses will do that again and the smaller houses will have to find other, more creative ways to get the engagement, to get the attention, to communicate their creativity.”

Beckham said her collaboration with Reebok, which debuted in 2019, did “wonderfully well during lockdown.” But in February it was reported that the Victoria Beckham fashion line had accrued losses of more than $63 million dollars since it first went on the market in 2009. “There have been lots of board meetings, lots of talk of restructuring,” she said in the Evening Standard interview. Beckham also acknowledged that her signature brand of sleek, chic cocktail dresses and officewear might not find a place amid people’s new work-from-home lifestyles. While noting that she hopes people will return to dressing up, she told Sheffield that selling t-shirts and sweaters appropriate for lounging on the couch is already baked into her label’s aesthetic.

It’s possible the Victoria Beckham brand, despite being sold in retailers including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, could go the way of companies like Sies Marjan and Totokaelo, which were forced to shutter during the pandemic. But according to the designer, she remains hopeful.

“I feel so blessed to still have a business,” she said. “I feel very lucky to have a team that have worked so incredibly hard during this time.”