She feels more comfortable as a designer than she did in the Spice Girls.
“I had a great time being in the Spice Girls, I really did,” she said, “But fashion was always my passion. I’m living a dream, and every morning I wake up and pinch myself. Right now is where I really feel comfortable, and I believe that I’m competing in an arena where actually, I’m good at it. I was never going to be the best singer, or the best dancer, and that was okay. “
Her very first fashion show involved VIP treatment from Donatella Versace herself.
“I was invited by Donatella Versace to go to Milan, and it was incredible. She took me to the store, and she dressed me, and then I went to the show. I’d never been to a fashion show, and felt that intensity and energy. I actually ran into Donatella recently, and she said in her wonderful Italian accent, 'Remember when you came to your first fashion show, and you altered the clothes [I gave you]?'"
She’s a team player.
Multiple times throughout the evening, Beckham emphasized the importance of both working for other people and surrounding yourself with a great team. “I didn’t go to fashion college, but I spent quite a few years working for other designers,” she said. “And I learned so much. That’s the best advice I can give anybody: Don’t leave and try to start your own company. Get out there and work for other people. Be a sponge; have your eyes open, and enjoy. But learn.” As for her team: “I’m not doing this on my own. I have an incredible team of people who work really hard. Until you put yourself out there, you don’t realize what it takes.”
She considers Marc Jacobs to be her original mentor.
“He’s a very good friend of mine,” she said. “He gave me so much advice—not even about designing clothes, but about the business.” An example of his guidance: “He said that if you design a collection and it’s really good, then people can say that they don’t like it, but they can’t say that it’s rubbish.”
About her reputation…
“Everybody thinks I’m going to be a prima donna, so when I’m not, it’s a pleasant surprise,” she joked, and then more seriously: “I don’t think there’s any room for that, to be honest; I really don’t. It’s about being focused and working hard. Maybe some companies do have people who are a little bit prissy, but that’s the way they work. But it definitely doesn’t work for what I do.”
“I’ve read Lean In,” she said. “I’m a big fan of hers.”
…But don’t call her a feminist.
“I am a professional, but I’m also a mum,” she emphasized. “I put my children first. Women are still treated differently from men, and, like I said, I’m a big fan of Sheryl Sandberg. I don’t know if I’d use the word [“feminist”], but I definitely support women who work. I think women should support women, and should stick together.”
She’s a celebrity designer, not a celebrity “designer.”
She was very insistent that she is very much involved in every process of her company. “I know that other celebrities have launched clothing lines, and they’ve done it in a very different way than I have. It’s never been about me, the celebrity, but about the product. The product speaks for itself." She then spoke about a “day in the life,” and from describing everything from econ meetings to studio time to picking out paint colors for her runway show, she quickly debunked any preconceived notions that she’s just the face of the brand without any of the substance.
This exchange, in which she talks about her husband’s lack of shirt, happened:
Beckham: “I’d love to do menswear at some point. I get very inspired by menswear.”
Collins: “I’m sure that we could come up with a muse for you not far from home…”
In spite of Harper’s (adorable) front row nose-picking. “I wanted them to come see what Mummy does,” Beckham said particularly of her three sons. “Because they sit and they watch Daddy play football, and I wanted them to come see that Mummy works as well. It’s a very powerful message to put out to people: I’m a wife and a mother, but I work as well. It’s difficult. But that’s why people like Sheryl Sandberg inspire me so much.”
On her latest collection:
She may have just been one day out, but Beckham insisted that she wasn’t sick of it yet. “I’m really proud of what we showed yesterday,” she said. “It was definitely evolved and very new, but it was very me.”
Brace yourselves: Victoria Beckham shoes are (likely) on the way.
“I do want to start a shoe collection. If anyone here is a shoe designer, please do come and see me,” she half-joked. “I definitely think shoes is the next category I will look at going into.” And it certainly helps that she has a certain footwear legend in her corner. “I actually work with Manolo Blahnik for the shoes in my shows every season,” she revealed. “Working with him is remarkable.”
And finally, your random Victoria Beckham fact of the day:
“I’m a terrible driver—a really terrible driver,” she laughed. “David doesn’t let me drive anymore, because I’m that bad.”