David and Victoria Beckham at the Met Ball [Getty]
When Victoria Beckham announced last week that she was selling 600 pieces from her wardrobe for charity on TheOutnet.com, fashionistas went into a frenzy. In an exclusive interview with Grazia, she reveals why culling her clothes made her laugh and cry, and how her husband and daughter inspired her to do it.
The sale is part of Victoria’s involvement with mothers2mothers, a charity that aims to eradicate the pre- and post-natal transmission of HIV between carrier mothers and their unborn babies, and UNAIDS. The effort, spearheaded by gynaecologist Dr Mitch Besser – husband to Annie Lennox – has been supported by some of fashion’s most high-profile names, from Anna Wintour to Stella McCartney.
GREEN VINTAGE DRESS - 2007
‘I was in Paris for the weekend with Katie Holmes for the Chanel show and I wore this dress to meet Karl Lagerfeld. Katie and I had a fabulous weekend – it was just so much fun – and this dress always reminds me of it.’
Earlier this year, Victoria was invited by Anna to spend time in South Africa with some of the charity’s Mentor Mothers – women who are HIV-positive or have AIDS and have been trained by the charity to work with pregnant women who may have contracted the disease. ‘I was so touched by the people I met and how focused and empowered the Mentor Mothers were – literally, I have never met such strong women in my entire life. The work they are doing is nothing short of absolutely remarkable,’ she explains.
Back home, she made a commitment to help in any way she could. ‘Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whatever your fi nancial or health status, you are still a woman and you are still a mother and we have a responsibility to support each other. There is always that connection, I certainly felt it,’ Victoria says. Having her daughter has also ‘absolutely changed’ her world view in terms of the position of women across the globe.
ROBERTO CAVALLI - 2003
‘I wore this long Roberto Cavalli skirt to a party in Beverly Hills – all those long Cavalli skirts and dresses are great.’
Unsurprisingly for such a barometer of fashion tastes, Victoria focused her efforts on her closet. ‘Going through my wardrobe and my archive, I found all these clothes – so many iconic pieces – that bring back such happy memories. I just felt, a) I wanted to raise money, and b) I wanted to share them,’ she says. After making her cull – more of which later – Victoria came up with an edit of 600 pieces. From the Prada dress she wore in Spice World to bags, scarves and costume jewels, all will be sold on TheOutnet.com, making these one-off pieces – many of which have been tailored to Victoria’s body by the world’s most fêted designers – available to all (see details of the special sale on page 20).
‘These clothes have been on some incredible journeys – I’ve had so much fun in them and I want to share that and give other people the chance to have a piece of what I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to have,’ Victoria says. So how did she decide which pieces to donate? In a scene reminiscent of Carrie’s closet clear-out in the Sex And The City movie, Victoria enlisted the help of her nearest and dearest. ‘My mum and my sister came over and
we sorted through the rails and packed up the boxes,’ she recalls. ‘My sister was so harsh. I’d be like, “I can’t give this away,” and she’d say, “Give me that. Put it in the box now… Harper is never going to want that!” To be honest, there are some pieces I’m sure Harper would love – I’ve donated the very best pieces – but there are others who will enjoy them.’
ALEXANDER McQUEEN - 2009
‘That dress was for a date night with David in Milan.’
How did it make her feel to look through all her old glad rags? ‘Well, I’ve come a long way in fashion!’ she says, fl ashing a lip-glossed smile. ‘When I went through the clothes I laughed and I cried. This is a celebration of the past, everything I’ve achieved and the amazing people who have come on that journey with me. It’s a moment to say here’s to the future and let’s laugh at some of the past.’
One of those people is her husband, who Victoria credits with inspiring her to learn more about the cause. ‘David is a huge inspiration, not just because he’s my husband and the most amazing father, but he also does an enormous amount to give back, more than anyone knows,’ Victoria notes. ‘I wanted to talk to him about my experience as I knew he would understand. You see things differently on the ground. You meet the mothers, grandparents and the fathers. You meet the kids. I learn so much from David, as he does from me.’
ROLAND MOURET GALAXY DRESS - 2012
‘I was wearing this Roland Mouret Galaxy dress in New York in a paparazzi shot.’
Victoria has also been busy working on her first store, set to open its doors on Mayfair’s Dover Street later this year. ‘I’m very, very excited – it’s been a massive learning curve.’ As far as her work for the charity, this sale is, Victoria says, ‘Just the beginning. I’ve realised I have a voice and people will listen to me. That’s a powerful tool, which, used responsibly, can make a difference.’ Using that voice she implores her fans to spread the word about the sale and charity, even if they aren’t in a position to invest. And for the lucky ones who do score a VB wardrobe icon at TheOutnet.com, she says: ‘If you wear them, please, please, send us a picture!’