How To Master The French Braid
Victoria Beckham turns 39 tomorrow (17th April) and it's hard to believe that in 20 years she's transformed herself from wide-eyed pop star to international designer, winning the respect of her peers and a few awards along the way.
Let's see what we can learn from Mrs. Beckham by analysing her top 10 tips for fashion success...
We shrieked when we found these early modelling photos hidden in the back of VB’s closet. The dodgy perm, the leather waistcoat, the cheesy swimwear and barstool shot – a far cry indeed from the immaculately styled glamour-puss we know today. However it's clear that the Victoria has always had an appetite for fashion and she definitely showed willingness to put herself out there to get a kitten-heeled foot in the door.
Surely the Spice Girls could be considered one of the biggest brands of the '90s with their catchy 'Girl Power' slogan, carefully chosen nicknames and standard uniforms. They also sold a heck of a lot of merchandise from dolls and posters to pencil cases and packed lunch boxes. If ever there was an opportunity for Victoria to get an education in the practices of marketing, advertising and public relations for use in her future fashion empire, here it was.
It's all very well being an independent woman, but it's nice to have someone to appreciate the work that you do. Cue the godfather of metrosexual males, David Beckham, who made it ok for footballers to follow fashion.
If you want to build a luxury brand it can't hurt to have the moniker 'Posh'. It’s little wonder when they were handing them out VB stayed well clear of 'Scary' and 'Baby', although she's since included some sporty influences in her collections. Clearly of the Holly Golightly School of dressing, the mother of four opts for glamorous black frocks to give off the right impression.
'Out of Your Mind', a song Victoria recorded with Dane Bowers in 2000, reached number 2 in the charts after being beaten to the number 1 spot by Sophie Ellis-Bextor's 'Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)'. We can hardly call it a failure, but looking back it was the most un-Victoria Beckham-y thing that Victoria Beckham did in her career. A solo album followed, but it took a second cancelled record before the star finally turned her attentions elsewhere.
It was hardly a high fashion scene but there were plenty of big fat labels involved. When Victoria travelled to Baden Baden in 2006 to support her hubby in the World Cup, a visible hierarchy was created which saw her and Cheryl Cole distancing themselves from the younger party-hopping WAGs like Coleen Rooney, Carly Zucker and Elen Rives. It was also clear that anything Victoria wore in her role of Queen WAG would fly off the shelves.
2008 was the year when we realised Posh Spice didn’t take herself as seriously as we once thought. Spray-tanned to the deepest shade of mahogany (those WAGs would be proud) she posed for a Marc Jacobs campaign and proved that she could earn the approval of one of fashion's top players.
Victoria has taken 'Say as you do, do as you say' a step further to become, 'Wear as I design, design as I wear'. It's a clever tactic that male designers who design for women in mind can't (necessarily) do and female designers don't always have the profile to succeed at doing.
While showcasing her creations at any given opportunity has certainly contributed to her success, getting a host of A-list style icons to step out in her wares can't have hurt either. Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow have become loyal followers, Eva Longoria and Demi Moore have modelled more than one of those signature exposed zips, and the dresses have so extensively travelled the fashion foodchain that Carol Vorderman even got in on the act.
Not content with a main line collection, VB now has sister brand Victoria Victoria Beckham and a new ecommerce website under her belt. Fashion world take note: the Spice Girl done good!
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