30 June 2011

OMG! Victoria Beckham Launches Lower-Priced Dress Collection!

Victoria Beckham hasn't put a Louboutin-shod foot wrong since launching her eponymous designer label six seasons ago. Now worn by every A-list style icon who matters, from Michelle Obama to Olivia Palermo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet and Demi Moore (Kate Middleton can't be far behind; come on, the US wardrobe!), the dresses are always high quality, beautifully cut, elegantly designed, and effortlessly flattering for all. In fact, there's only one thing wrong with Mrs B's dresses; at prices hovering around £4-7000 a piece, they're just too damn pricey for many of us to be anything more than an occasional luxe blow-out. No wonder the label made a turnover of $8m last year.

Well, it's time to rejoice, because today Lady Beckham gave an interview to fashion industry bible WWD announcing the launch of a lower-priced range of dresses (like she hasn't got anything else on at the moment, apart from, oh yes, giving birth to her fourth child on Monday). Due to arrive in stores for Spring 2012, the designer reports that "Victoria by Victoria Beckham" will feature 'the perfect little summer dress, something that was fun, something that was girly, something that was easy to wear, something that would take you from day through the night' with prices ranging from a far more accessible £350 to £995 approx.

Just don't call it a "diffusion line". The range is being refered to simply as a "dress collection" and Beckham would like to see the second line sold next to the main collection in stores.

The designer, claims the new range is inspired by her 'other side'; with a more relaxed, off-duty vibe compared to the all-dressed-up retro-glamour of her main line.

Fans of the style icon might be surprised to hear about the muse for the dress collection, which she claims was inspired by the cartoon character Emily the Strange, the goth-girl cartoon beloved by EMO teens the world over, whose Sixties A-line dresses are very in keeping with the VB look. Emily's influence can be seen in the collection's magical prints - clouds, moons, and lots of cats (one called "Victoria cat" the other "Cutey cat", giving the line a younger, more fun feel than the sophistication of the main line.

Aside from the price points, VB claims the silhouettes are more accessible too; '...I’m opening these designs to women and girls of all different shapes and sizes, people who maybe want something less tight and clingy and structured. It also makes it more comfortable for during the day. You can wear them with a pair of flats or a pair of heels and they look great.'

The most impressive part of Beckham's tranformation from pop star to fashion designer has been her quiet integrity, and dogged persistence to understand every part of her business. Any suspicions that this line, like some designer diffusion lines, might simply be produced under license by an outside company are quickly dismissed by the designer's explanation of the range's economies of scale and their impact on the customer; 'I take it into account when I’m designing.... Simply having a pocket — there are repercussions. Even with a handbag that costs thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds, I’m not going crazy. I’m still aware of how much the hardware costs exactly, exactly what the skin costs, how much the lining costs. At no point do I ever say it’s one of those one-off showpieces.'

In fact, the new dress collection is the exact opposite of one-off showpieces, and many VB fans will no doubt echo the designer's own sentiment that 'these are the kind of dresses I’ve been searching for.' As Zach Duane, whom WWD refers to as the "de facto" CEO of the Victoria Beckham fashion empire, says 'we had to do something or we’d be a niche brand forever.'

Amen to that.


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