Saturday 16 November 2019

Aisling O’Connor: Paris move is yet another clever way for Posh to brand it like Beckham

THE Beckhams are set to put roots down for real in Europe as David signs on with Paris Saint-Germain. But what a struggle it will be for poor old Victoria to commute between Paris, London and New York for her fashion business. Not so, is the consensus. In Posh's never-ending pursuit of critical success, the chicest of fashion capitals is looking to be the next rung on her career ladder.

At 37 years old, her iconic footballing husband is approaching his sell-by date on the pitch, but that hasn't put off PSG bosses, who are no doubt walking around with euro signs in their eyes. Beckham's next step has garnered much hype in recent months as his LA Galaxy contract came to an end.

So is David's next move just a cover for a potential exit from New York fashion for Victoria? As we well know, the Beckhams don't do things by halves. According to 'The Guardian', "the veteran" was offered a locker at 12 clubs in South America, South Africa, Russia, China, the Middle East, Australia and North America. So why Paris? Well, because fashion is there, of course.

The former Spice Girl has worked her behind off (literally, some might say) to bag credibility in the fashion industry. The 2007 move to LA Galaxy was a savvy move to catapult Brand Beckham into a Hollywood A-list enclave, which serves as a fish bowl to the celebrity-obsessed public.

Her fashion master-plan unfolded as their star rose. Up until that point, her sartorial efforts amounted to jeans, sunglasses, perfume and a stack of endorsements. Debuted in New York in September 2008, Victoria's namesake collection was acclaimed, and three years later it looks like she's ready to take her ambition to the next level.

Though she's a favourite with the gal-on-the-street on both sides of the pond, and worn by many a high-profile celebrity, it seems that Victoria will stop at nothing until she is lauded as the second coming of Coco Chanel. The pin-thin fashionista probably spent more time on airplanes in 2012 than in bed in an effort to take her brand around America and out to China and Japan – all the while decked out almost exclusively in her own designs. An accepted part of the establishment in New York, the next stop is without a doubt Europe, where the Paris catwalks are the ultimate seal of approval.

Victoria is a week away from unveiling her autumn 2013 offerings in the Big Apple, and simultaneously launching an e-commerce website and the 'Icon' collection of her greatest hits. Meanwhile, the press awaits the announcement that she too is going to France to sell shirts.

Victoria's self-effacing persona protests that her fashion career is based on hard work and opportunity, not a cannily conceived strategy that would eventually put a former pop-star's designs shoulder-to-shoulder with Paris's fashion elite – Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Chanel and Alexander McQueen.

Only last autumn, she sprawled herself all over Coco's rue Cambon apartment for an 'Elle France' editorial with Karl Lagerfeld.

The thing with the Beckhams is that it is not about money. The PSG deal will be short-lived – it is as clear as the nose on Victoria's face that he's there to sell shirts and raise the club's global profile. They are motivated by their 'brand', its longevity, and Victoria's need to put her 'Girl Power' days firmly behind her.

David's PSG move is the perfect pre-emption to a 'forced' exit from New York, which will see Victoria land on the cobbled streets of Paris peddling her wares. She will put it down to martyring herself for her children. After all, Romeo has a Burberry contract to honour, Brooklyn wants to train at Chelsea, Harper has been racking up more frequent flyer miles than Rihanna, and Cruz is undoubtedly losing his Peckham twang.

Though Beckingham Palace in Hertfordshire and a newly decorated London pad will be only a train ride away, a grandiose 'appartement' on one of the grand avenues is undeniably in the offing.

However, will Posh 'n' Becks fit into old-money Parisian society? Most things British are gleefully scoffed at in France. But as they learned in America, this star-spangled couple has the money and the goods to blend it like Beckham.

Irish Independent

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