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Thanks to http://cheryl-online.net/.

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Scary X Factor judge Melanie B insists she has a softer side to her character. Maybe she does, but she’s not showing it off today.

We’re in Cancun, Mexico, for the Judges’ Houses stage of the show and Mel is being typically blunt. With her band of hopeful boy contestants she is open and honest, interrupting them during their songs and giving them good, constructive pointers.

With me, the visiting reporter, her answers are curt and to the point. For example, she has lived abroad for 15 years following a bitter feud with her family. When I ask if she misses Britain she says: “I go back to England so often for work that I’m not away from it enough to miss it.” Subject closed.

In fact Mel, 39, is moving back here for three months for The X Factor’s live stages. She’s bringing her three kids and her American husband Stephen Belafonte, 38, the man her sister Danielle accuses of tearing the family apart.

Mel’s mum Andrea, 58, is desperate to end the feud and repair relations, particularly while the three grandchildren are in the country. But it doesn’t seems likely.

All ties were severed following an ­argument in 2007 when Mel and Stephen renewed their wedding vows amid claims he had driven a wedge between his wife and her folks back in Leeds.

In 2012 Danielle, now 33, added fuel to the bitter row when she said: “I would never tell her to leave him. She can be with whoever she wants to be with, even if we find him controlling and not a nice person.”

And dad Martin, 60, added: “I just want to speak to her so I know those children are happy. If she wants this strange ­relationship, that’s her choice.

“She’s my daughter and I love her to bits.”

But when I mention Stephen’s name to Mel in Mexico, she lights up with smiles. And quickly denies Danielle’s accusation that Stephen is “controlling”.

“My husband let’s me get on with ­whatever I want to do,” she says.

Stephen is not among the X Factor entourage in Cancun but it does include Mel’s old Spice Girl bandmate Emma Bunton, who is helping her to decide which of her six boys will make the final stages.

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Written by: Admin, Wednesday, 2014/10/08 at 4:06 PM Leave A Comment

Cheryl and Mel B are to appear on The Jonathan Ross Show.

The X Factor judges will be among Jonathan’s first guests, when a new ten-part series of his chat show launches later this month. They’ll be joined on the show by Hollywood actor Steve Carrell and Wildlife expert David Attenborough. Paolo Nutini provides the music.

Catch Cheryl and Mel on The Jonathan Ross Show, 10pm, Saturday 18th October on itv.

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When Emma Bunton turned her back on her singing career to become a radio DJ it wasn’t because she enjoyed the bleary-eyed 5am starts but because she wanted to watch her two young boys growing up.

When touring with the Spice Girls she would be away from home for months at a time visiting country after country.

These days, despite a recent whirl-wind trip to Mexico to assist her friend Mel B at the judges’ house stage of this year’s X Factor competition, Emma is never far from her brood.

“Everything changes when you become a parent, even my work,” says Emma. “I love music and I hope it’s not the end of it but at the moment I can’t tour for months on end because my son Beau is at school. So maybe as they get a bit older I might do that again. I’d love to work with the Spice Girls again but who knows whether that will happen.”

In fact, it takes something special to tempt Emma away from the Barnet home she shares with her fiancé and partner of 16 years Jade Jones and their two boys Beau, seven, and Tate, three.

When she was asked to travel to Madagascar to see first-hand how the Pampers and UNICEF one pack one vaccine campaign is helping to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus in developing countries, it was a cause too close to her heart to turn down.

Maternal and newborn tetanus is easily preventable by a simple vaccine but 58,000 babies die from it every year – that’s one newborn fatality every nine minutes.

“The day before I left for Madagascar I had my mum, brother, nephew and uncle round for dinner – just because I was going away for three days,” she laughs.

“Most weekends I’m round at my mum or dad’s for dinner. They all help with the kids because we don’t have any other help. They do everything if we’re not there which is great.”

Emma and her partner have a perfect set up when it comes to organising who looks after the children.

Jade has been focusing on music again with his band Damage, while Emma hosts the breakfast show on Heart FM with Jamie Theakston.

“Jade drops the kids off to school because I’m up at 5.15am,” she explains. “He does everything in the morning and then I’m generally home by the latest midday and then that gives me the whole rest of the day for pick ups, homework and dinner, which is perfect. Then weekends are generally free so that’s big time for us.

Emma and Jade’s relationship changed when they became parents too.

“It made us a lot stronger becoming parents,” she says. “Jade was brilliant. When I first had Beau my attention was completely on him but Jade would still get up in the night with me to help with feeds.

“He really thought about things and he read books with me. He’s a good boy and a good catch. I love babies and enjoy the whole process of being pregnant, you just have to take so much in to consideration.”

So would she think about having a third?

“I do think I’d like to have another child before I turn 40 but it’s only if we’re lucky enough. Jade would have loads more children so he likes the thought of it too, as does Beau, but Tate’s still a bit young to understand. When I had Tate, Beau was in nursery so I think it just gives you that time to spend with the younger one.”

For now though, it seems the pair have their hands full with the two boys, as despite getting engaged three years ago Emma admits they haven’t found the time to plan a wedding.

“If we had time to sit down and organise it then we probably would get married but we feel so settled as we are,” she says.

“We still adore each other and have so much respect for each other. We have a great friendship, lots in common and we also make each other laugh. I still really fancy him and we’re on the same wavelength with the kids. We don’t really argue either because we talk things out quite a bit.”

As well as throwing a big party like her fellow Spice Girl Victoria Beckham did, Emma has a few other plans for when she turns 40.

“My mum went to college and became a black belt when she turned 40,” she says. “She just carried on changing, which I thought was incredible. I definitely have a yearning to go back to do some learning too, although I haven’t got a clue what that is at the moment. I don’t feel too settled yet – I’m not made that way.

“I love organising parties so I’ll definitely do that. Mel C’s 40th was such a brilliant night, we stayed up very late. And Victoria’s was a lovely party too, although Mel and I let everyone down by having too much to drink.”

Generally Emma likes to live healthily and does try to exercise when she can.

“I have a trainer sometimes and I love going for walks, it’s something we do as a family. I don’t like to be in the gym while my kids are running around – I’d rather be with them. But I do want to feel and look my best.

“I wear factor 50 every single day and I try and drink lots of water and have enough sleep. We eat healthily as a family too. I love that my kids’ favourite meal is salmon and couscous.”

So what’s the biggest message Emma took back to her boys when she got home from Madagascar?

“I found it so endearing that siblings look after each other. I met so many brave extraordinary women in Madagascar; my outlook on life couldn’t help but change. My boys aren’t old enough yet but I’d love them to see that part of the world just to see how lucky we are.”

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Written by: Admin, Thursday, 2014/09/25 at 8:50 PM Leave A Comment

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Victoria Beckham spoke of her “responsibilities as a woman and a mother” after being named as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.

Posh Spice is following in the footsteps of Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson, former bandmate Geri Halliwell and husband David in becoming an ambassador.

She will work with UNAIDS, the UN’s HIV and Aids charity.

“It’s taken me getting to 40 to realise I have a responsibility as a woman and a mother,” said the singer-turned-designer.

“I recently visited South Africa and was so touched by the women I met. I felt inspired and I came home and knew I had to do something.

“I’m going to speak on behalf of the incredible women and the incredible charities who are working so desperately hard in these countries. I’m going to lend my voice to them because for some reason people listen to me.

“I need to use what I have to make a difference.”

The former Spice Girl missed the opening of her new London store to speak at the UN in New York – sending her husband David in her place. She told reporters she still had lots to learn about what UNAIDS does.

“I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know everything right now, I don’t. I’m learning, I have people mentoring me. I’m going back to South Africa in a few weeks and further afield next year,” she said. “It was life changing when I went to South Africa. Babies should not be born with HIV and we can stop that – we’re very close to stopping that. We can’t give up, we have to keep going. I feel so honoured to be here. I feel very humbled.”

The Beckhams have been patrons of the Elton John Aids Foundation for more than 20 years.

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THE BECKHAMS > CANDIDS & APPEARANCES [HQ |LARGE] > 2014 > September 25th – NY – UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Press Conference

Written by: Admin, Thursday, 2014/09/25 at 8:07 PM Leave A Comment

The public have been with me on this journey from the start’, Victoria Beckham nostalgically remarks as she takes us on a personal tour of her first-ever boutique. ‘Five years ago I certainly never thought I’d be opening a store of my own…’

Victoria is certainly one impressive lady. She has managed to divide and conquer the fashion world – an incredibly harsh industry to make your mark on – in what seems to be a few short years. But don’t let that fool you; it’s been tougher for her than it looks. We caught up with Victoria herself ahead of the opening of her brand new store to get a sneak peek of its interior and, subsequently, become inspired at the rather amazing journey that’s brought her to this point.

Arriving at Dover Street in London at lunchtime last Wednesday, we walked the street until we came to a building shrouded under a black wood cover. Against the magnolia cream building, only one feature alludes to the fact that we’re in the right place: the number 36 scribed in gloss black. There are no signs brandishing the Beckham name and should you happen to walk by you probably wouldn’t think twice about it’s boarded-up exterior. However, inside, it’s a very different story.

Crossing the building-work threshold, we are met by a large glass window and towering cement door which looks as though it requires some serious cardiovascular cred to push open. However, as we approach, it rather elegantly slides to the side. So effortless is the motion, it’s reminiscent to a magical opening of a cave of wonders. Rather apt when you consider it’s luxury contents.

Walking into the store is what we can only describe as entering a way more stylish version of the Tardis. Rather small and unassuming from the outside in comparison, the space which Victoria has created inside the property is, put simply, beautiful beyond belief. A polished cement floor cascades to the back of the room while the high ceilings look even more colossal thanks to their mirrored finish. The space is so sleek, so perfect and so well designed it initially feels like you’ve entered a gallery rather than a store. That is until you clock the rather impressive homage to VB’s most iconic handbags on the right; then you’re firmly reminded that this is, first and foremost, a fashion haven.

After taking in the first impressions of the store, it’s only a moment before Victoria herself appears from the far end of the room, striding over to greet us warmly.

Wearing a white top featuring her iconic AW14 print, dark grey skinny jeans and chicly shoulder-robing a black, pleated hem blazer, she is every inch the style icon you’ve seen in the photographs, but the sullen face which the tabloids like to portray is nowhere to be seen. Greeting all of her guests personally with a strong handshake and a warm grin, it dawns on us that she is just as excited to have us there as we are to be there.

Clearly still in awe of what she and her team have created, Victoria starts off by addressing her shop window, or the lack there of. ‘I didn’t want a traditional shop window,’ she tells us. ‘I much prefer the clean feel just glass provides’. To her right, Victoria gestures towards the rows of bags that penetrate the entirely of the wall as you enter the store, saying that all the ‘accessories will be here as you enter. There will be exclusive leather goods as well as clothing available here that you won’t be able to buy anywhere else.’

Following her lead, we walk on the ground floor towards the rear of the store where, behind a corner, her diffusion line Victoria Victoria Beckham is housed. Lined up oh-so neatly on a rail moulded into a zig-zag (or, more aptly, VV) effect, Victoria is quick to add that there will be ‘a constant flow of new product’ in this section that is set to keep even her most seasoned of customers enticed visit after visit.

The rail is suspended by chic chains modelled in blond gold; the very same chain which is used as a design element on her gorgeous array of arm-candy which, as you’d expect, was no accident.

Speaking of the chain, Victoria beamed with pride as said explained her reasoning behind its use in the store. ‘Every element of the store is signature to the brand’, and, it’s easy to see, that no small detail has been spared.

As we explore further into the store, the grey tone of the concrete floor is broken up, instantly warmed and thus contrasted with rich bottle-green glass panels and a dark American Walnut wood. While luxurious and aesthetically beautiful, it makes the space seem more homely and welcoming than you would expect from a high-end designer store.

‘All of the wood you seen throughout came from one single American walnut tree. Just one.’ Yep, It’s easy to see that VB relishes in every tiny detail of her enterprise.

‘I want people to feel like they can come to my store and just look around’, she reveals. ‘I have hand-picked the staff myself; they are the best in the industry, and they are here to make the experience of the store enjoyable for everyone who comes in.’

She also alludes that the way she and her family shop for themselves played a big part in the development of the store. ‘I’m lucky that David [Beckham, obvs] still shops for me’, she shared. ‘I wanted men to feel just as comfortable in these surroundings and with the staff as my female customers. That’s very important.’

Speaking as a mother, Vic also told us that whenever she goes shopping, she has ‘at least one child with her’, so she wanted her space to be ‘functional and practical’ too. As a consequence, she shows us one of the fitting rooms – the store’s smallest, in fact – but, in reality it was big enough for Victoria to set up her very comfortable, albeit, make-shift office.

Although the store has three floors, just two will be open for the initial opening. Explaining this, Victoria leads us up the grey-scale staircase to the first floor where her Ready-To-Wear catwalk collection will be displayed.

Again, the gorgeous garments all hang from the same chains as downstairs but, rigged on the ornate and architectural ceiling, they can be moved and pulled easily around the space to create new, dynamic displays. The same walnut wood can be seen throughout this level in the shape of movable furniture which Victoria sweetly remarks that they remind her of ‘little woodland animals’.

Suddenly draping herself over the seating, Victoria quips, ‘This is where all the men will be sitting, waiting for their girlfriends and wives to finish up.’

‘Children are also very welcome too’, she emphasises as she stands to her feet. We can just see her brood having a whale of a time scampering over these wooden blocks…

From the tiniest of details to the sheer vastness of the space, it’s clear to see that the endeavour has been a complete labour of love for Victoria. ‘It’s taken us two years to really think about what we wanted from the space, and after finding this, I fell in love with it. I believe in fate and this place just felt right.’

Once the store’s up and running, the designer has no plans to jump ship either. ‘I’ll be in the store a lot, taking personal appointments, talking to my customers and really getting to know what she wants.’ Now that’s what we call consumer research.

Talking about her design ethos in general, Victoria made the observation; ‘It’s fashion. We take it very seriously but it still has to be fun’, and, when we asked her just who she has in mind when she designs her clothing and accessories lines, she was decidedly clear on the matter. ‘Right now I’m designing clothes I want to wear myself. When I’m older, I might design clothes I fantasise about wearing.’

She might be one of the world’s most famous women, but Victoria couldn’t help but talk about her amazing journey from Spice Girl to designer heavyweight. ‘The public have been with me on this journey from the start and continue to be. Five years ago I certainly never thought I’d be opening my own store.’

As we head back to the gigantic concrete door, Victoria rather candidly suggests; ‘I hope the customers like it. This is me, really.’ We don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about, Vic…

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Written by: Admin, Thursday, 2014/09/25 at 8:02 PM Leave A Comment

Victoria Beckham is not going quietly into the retail landscape, instead the designer is opening 6,000 square feet of VB in the heart of Dover Street, right across from Rei Kawakubo’s fashion mecca Dover Street Market. London is rarely the first choice for a brand’s initial flagship, but it wasn’t even a question for the designer, “I’m from London, I’m very proud to be British. So for me there was no doubt, I wanted to open my first store here.”

It’s all very personal to Beckham, who designed the store—all open space, clean lines and minimal clothing—with architect Farshid Moussavi, whom she personally hired. Beckham’s H.R. duties didn’t end there, “I’ve interviewed all of the sale’s associates myself,” she told a group of editors on a bright Tuesday afternoon during the final hours of London Fashion Week, “They are all good, very experienced—passionate about retail.”

Victoria Beckham is not going quietly into the retail landscape, instead the designer is opening 6,000 square feet of VB in the heart of Dover Street, right across from Rei Kawakubo’s fashion mecca Dover Street Market. London is rarely the first choice for a brand’s initial flagship, but it wasn’t even a question for the designer, “I’m from London, I’m very proud to be British. So for me there was no doubt, I wanted to open my first store here.”

It’s all very personal to Beckham, who designed the store—all open space, clean lines and minimal clothing—with architect Farshid Moussavi, whom she personally hired. Beckham’s H.R. duties didn’t end there, “I’ve interviewed all of the sale’s associates myself,” she told a group of editors on a bright Tuesday afternoon during the final hours of London Fashion Week, “They are all good, very experienced—passionate about retail.”

Beckham has shown 12 collections to date in New York, and her clothes have her particular fingerprint on them, as do her bags, and a new collection of footwear recently revealed during her Spring 2015 presentation. “I worked with Monolo [Blahnik] for quite a few seasons and I love what we did together,“ Beckham explains, “but for me to really finish off my silhouette this season, I needed a different hand and I was very specific, and I knew what I wanted. The only way for me to get that was to do it myself.”

Doing things in her own image has served Beckham well, photographed paparazzi-style almost wherever she is, she’s a verified style influencer as much as a designer. She’s also a wife and mother and drew from her own life when it came to utility for the store, “I’m very lucky that I have a husband that does go shopping for me. I think that it is very important that guys come in and they can be comfortable.”

And her mum-radar (we’re still in London, after all) is evident in the roomy, “nicely lit” dressing rooms, “The fitting rooms are actually very, very big. When I go shopping I’ve always got at least one child, so it’s important that I can come in, sit a child down, put my shopping bags down…”

The three-story airy space is industrial yet warm, with polished concrete floors, American walnut shelving with blonde gold accents, mirror stainless steel and bottle green grass—with hanging chains in the image of her bag handle chains. “I don’t want anyone to feel scared to come in here and shop. I want everyone to feel welcome.”

A large screen covers the wall as a customer approaches the third floor, where content from the website and anything else Beckham fancies will be projected to her acolytes. She’ll also spend time on the bottom floor, home of personal shopping, to work directly with her customers. “That’s where I’ll store myself and I’ll do fittings with people. I’m very excited to spend a lot of time with my customers.”

“Generally speaking, I just do what I like,” Beckham says, “And I’m always quite surprised, when it all kind of works. I’m the only person that knows what’s happening with VB, with ready-to-wear, with the show venue, with the shop or has anything to do with the music. So, I’m always quite surprised when it all comes together and it works. Ultimately, that’s because I am very, very involved with every single element.” And the VB woman wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Written by: Admin, Thursday, 2014/09/25 at 5:26 PM Leave A Comment

In the 20 minutes it takes for Victoria Beckham to show off her first-ever boutique, she says the phrase “I know what I want” seven times—and she means it. From the fitting rooms to the ceiling—and the hand-chosen Diptyque candles (they’re Figuier, the green ones, in case you’re wondering)—the designer has chosen every detail of the space. “I could even tell you about the wood in the hangers,” she quips, “but I don’t want to bore you.”

The Dover Street store opens today in London, but if you can’t make it to the British shopping Mecca, keep reading—we’ve got the most intimate details of the new Victoria Beckham shop, straight from the woman herself.

1. If you want to work here, you’ve got to go through The Designer Formerly Known as Posh Spice.

“Sometimes luxury boutiques aren’t welcoming, but I don’t want anyone to be scared coming into the shop! I want everyone to feel warm, and comfortable. Everyone. I’ve interviewed all the sales assistants myself. They’re all very good—very experienced, passionate about retail, and also they’re nice… And if we don’t have what you’re looking for here, the shop assistants will find what you’re looking for somewhere in the world. They really are fantastic.”

2. David Beckham inspired her retail strategy.

“I’m very lucky because I have a husband who does go shopping for me, and so that’s also really important to me—that guys can come in here and they’ll be helped. They can find the perfect gift. I want men to be able to come in here and buy gifts for their friends, their wives, their girlfriends. You know?”

3. The fitting rooms were designed to hold two things: Harper Beckham and a Hermès Birkin.

“I’ve been traipsing in and out of the store, so this one’s got all my stuff in it. The fitting rooms are very, very big because when I go shopping, I’ve got at least one child with me, so it’s important that I can come in, sit the kid down, put the shopping bags down—I love shopping myself, and I know what I need. It’s nice lighting here too, because that’s important—we’ve all been in fitting rooms where you look in the mirror and you go, ‘Oh God.’ I refuse to have that here!”

4. She spies on other shoppers when she visits boutiques.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been influenced by any other store but I do like to go shopping… Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Browns; I go shopping everywhere. I like to shop in L.A. too, as much as I can having four children!… and I watch shoppers… I’m obsessed with learning about [them]. I want to know what she wants; how she feels; what she’s looking for. I currently do a lot of that!”

5. She shoplifts… from her own store.

“This morning, I was like, ‘What am I going to wear tonight?’ And then, I thought, ‘Gosh, I have the best job in the world. I’ll just grab something from the shop! I can put it back in the morning—don’t tell anyone.’”

6. She’s team Hedi Slimane.

“I like to mix it up. I do love what I do and how my clothes make me feel, but I’m not one of those designers who will only have my own things. I like to support other designers, as well. I wear a lot of Saint Laurent. A lot.”

7. She just broke up with Manolo Blahnik.

“We’re going to sell shoes in the shop and they’ll be our own. I’ve worked with Manolo for quite a few seasons, and I love him, and I love what we did together. But I needed a different hand. And ultimately, I knew if I wanted it to look the way I wanted it to look, I’d have to do it myself.”

8. But she’s not breaking up with NYFW.

“I’m very proud to be from London. I love British fashion, and I’ve dreamed of having my own store in London since I was a little girl… But for Fashion Week, I like being in New York. I’ve been there for 16 seasons, and I get a great time slot, which works for me. Maybe at some point I’ll do something during LFW in the store, but leaving New York? Eh. Sometimes though you have to recognize when you’re lucky, and I have a good thing going there. Now’s not the time to move.”

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Written by: Admin, Thursday, 2014/09/25 at 12:01 PM Leave A Comment

The new issue of Another Man magazine launches today and David Beckham is on the cover, looking incredible as always! The photos have been shot by Collier Schorr and styled by Alister Mackie, alongside a brilliant long read interview with Tim Blanks.

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David Beckham shot and styled by Collier Schorr and Alister Mackie for AnOther Man Magazine Autumn / Winter 2014, on sale Thursday 25th September

View the full story on AnOther’s website: HERE. Thanks to Hannah from Dazed Group.

AnOther Man Magazine Autumn / Winter 2014 goes on sale Thursday 25h September.

Written by: Admin, Wednesday, 2014/09/24 at 9:01 PM Leave A Comment

As a woman who loves fashion, Victoria Beckham knows a thing or two about shopping for it. And this expert knowledge is evident in every aspect of her first-ever boutique, which opens today in London’s Mayfair.

But forget any mental images of Mrs B proudly positioned behind a till. While she promises to be in the 6,000sq ft store ‘a lot’, there are no tills to speak of. Nor, indeed, is there a display window. Or rails of designer frocks as soon as you enter.

In an exclusive tour of the Dover Street space last week, the designer described why she shunned such traditional features in favour of a contemporary space dominated by a soaring staircase.

‘It’s the first time people can see the brand through my eyes,’ she said. ‘I didn’t want a traditional shop window, just a plain window, and a huge concrete sliding door.’

It is unrecognisable from the original space, Mrs Beckham revealed.

‘The floors weren’t connected, and I said, “Wouldn’t it be incredible to drill a hole through all three floors, so you could stand on the top floor and see the ground floor,”’ she recalled. ‘ I didn’t think it would be possible, but it was.’

As you enter, there’s no avoiding the colourful handbags that line one wall – as much art installation as it is product display. Tucked away to the left are smaller leather goods such as purses and keyrings (from £150), sunglasses (we love the sky blue aviators, exclusive to the store) and the more affordable Victoria Victoria Beckham collection displayed on a zig-zag rail that echoes the designer’s initial. It’s the first time people can see the brand through my eyes

Shoppers likely won’t recognise an American walnut bench as the ‘cash and wrap’ area though. ‘We’re not going to have any ugly tills anywhere,’ Mrs Beckham explained. ‘Payment is with an iPad, so we can go to the customer on whatever floor she’s on.’

A wall of bottle green glass defines the changing rooms, which, unlike many we have all experienced, are decently sized with generous rail space and a bench to sit.

Mrs Beckham, a mother-of-four whose youngest, Harper, is just three, was likely speaking from experience when she said, ‘There’s plenty of room if somebody’s got a child with them – a child can wait. [There is] lots of hanging space, space where they can put their bags down.’

The lower level will be dedicated to personal shopping, while the upper level houses the main Victoria Beckham collection. Each piece hangs from the ceiling on a ‘blonde gold’ chain that is a larger version of those that feature on her handbags. A giant screen streams the autumn/winter 2014 catwalk show at one end, while a cluster of wooden benches in the centre invites partners, friends and kids to linger. In fact, making husbands welcome is a purposeful move on the part of Mrs Beckham.

‘I’ve been very lucky in the past that David’s been shopping and bought me gifts,’ she says. ‘I want men to know that whether it’s for a birthday or Christmas, Valentine’s Day, whatever it might be, a guy can come here and select the right gift. That’s very important for me. I don’t want an intimidating environment. We’ve all been shopping and felt awkward. I don’t want that.’

With her handbags and main collection dresses retailing for upwards of £1,500, those men will need deep pockets if they are shopping chez VB – but there is no question that the 40-year-old designer’s creations are in hot demand. Last year the label took £30million in sales – a figure that looks set to grow with the launch of pre-collections, footwear and of course the store.

In fact, Mrs Beckham still can’t quite believe how far she has come from that low-key New York presentation back in 2008. ‘Five years ago, if you’d said that I’d have a store on Dover Street, I’d never have believed it,’ she admits. ‘I feel really really lucky.’

But she doesn’t take sole credit. ‘I mean, I didn’t do this on my own,’ she adds. ‘I worked very closely with the architect Farshid [Moussavi], and my team. My CEO [Zach Duane] has been hugely instrumental with regards to the shop. We had a vision and we worked together. I’m very proud of what we’ve created, I think it’s really beautiful. We haven’t cut any corners.’

The new Victoria Beckham store is at 36 Dover Street, London W1. For more information visit www.victoriabeckham.com

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Written by: Admin, Wednesday, 2014/09/24 at 8:45 PM Leave A Comment

Written by: Admin, Wednesday, 2014/09/24 at 1:49 PM Leave A Comment

Exclusive interview with Victoria Beckham: ‘It wasn’t until they came to the show that they realised Mummy had a proper job. They see David on the pitch but they don’t see what I do’

Tomorrow Victoria Beckham opens her first stand-alone store here in London. She tells Karen Dacre why she swapped going out for working hard, and how she has nothing left to prove

Meeting Victoria Beckham is a bit like running into a schoolfriend you haven’t seen for 15 years. Immediately familiar but completely different from how you remember her, she is smaller, softer and a thousand times warmer than any showbiz gossip hack would have you believe.

When we meet she is padding around barefoot across the top floor of her new Dover Street boutique, wearing a crisp white shirt and a pair of black trousers that graze her ankles. Incidentally, so am I.

Of course while Beckham’s shirt is perfectly pressed, mine is creased and bears a stain from the smoked salmon and egg baguette I ate at lunchtime. “I like your outfit,” she quips. And then we are off, with Beckham eager to introduce me to her fashion label’s new home.

“A lot of attention has gone into making things look really quite minimal because that’s my taste,” she says before pausing to look out over Dover Street and the achingly cool Dover Street Market — “one of my favourite stores in the world”, she says with a childlike sense of pride.

Despite a brief encounter with her husband — I shook hands with David at the launch of his pants range for H&M in 2012 — this is my first audience with the posh pop star who swapped the spice of the music industry for the cut-throat world of high fashion in 2008. Now the spearhead of an awardwinning global brand, launched with the support of 19 Management’s Simon Fuller, she produces four womenswear collections for her luxurious, UK-produced, Victoria Beckham line each year, as well as numerous collections for her more affordable and super successful Victoria by Victoria Beckham off-shoot. A range of denim, sunglasses and accessories also form a major part of the brand — affectionately known as “VB” — which reported turnover sales of £15.4 million in 2012.

We’re meeting to discuss this, her very first stand-alone store, a 6000 sq ft retail outfit designed by Iranian architect Farshid Moussavi. Set over three floors, the space features cutaway glass flooring — designed to allow customers a 360-degree view — as well as mobile metal hanging chains, created in coordination with Beckham’s handbag line, and an impressive poured-concrete stairway. It strikes me as more of a fashion amphitheatre than a shop.

Set to open tomorrow without any of the pomp and ceremony one might expect from the Beckham media circus, it seems both perfectly suited to its Mayfair location but also unlike anything else in the capital. “I’m not trying to be like anyone else,” says Beckham. “I want people to come in here and feel like it’s me. I’ve only ever tried to be me.”

Creating something conceptual but also welcoming was a must for Beckham who, I sense, has poured her heart and soul into this place. “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making sure things are perfect. I put myself in the customer’s shoes, I know what it’s like to go shopping.” It is for this reason that the fitting rooms have been created on a large scale — “when I shop I’ve always got at least one child with me, so with my fitting rooms I wanted to make sure there’s somewhere to put your shopping, somewhere to put your child,” she says.

Beckham has paid special attention to the store’s customer service offering — so much so that she has hand-picked all the sales assistants herself. “I want women to come in here for the experience. This is fashion. It should be fun.”

For Beckham, who has an acute understanding of the power of celebrity, the shop is also about allowing her fans a further insight into her world. “It’s my way of saying thank you — and not just to fashion people but to the public who have come on this journey with me,” she says.

But why here in London? While Beckham’s studio is in Battersea, she launched her label in the US and continues to occupy an important slot on the New York Fashion Week schedule. “I’m proud to be British,” says Beckham, starting a spiel I fear she has been forced to give many times before. “I was brought up here, my family is here, my friends are here, my kids go to fantastic schools here …”

As if on cue, our interview is interrupted by Beckham’s youngest child, Harper, who comes bounding across the room to greet her mother. She is followed by her three older brothers, Brooklyn, Romeo (in school uniform) and Cruz, who immediately begins dancing in front of the mirror. “What do you think,” asks Beckham, whose serious fashion designer game-face has now melted into an enormous grin, before apologising to me for the interruption. “The kids haven’t seen the shop yet.”

The boys, who seem genuinely excited, respond with “it’s so cool” and “I love it” while Harper — who is clearly her mother’s child — requests a clothing change and disappears downstairs before reappearing in another cute sundress.

“I am so excited for them to see it,” says Beckham, who returns her focus to our conversation while smoothing Harper’s hair. “It wasn’t until they came to the show a few seasons ago that I think they realised that Mummy actually had a proper job. They see David on the football pitch whereas I go off to work and they don’t really see what I do.”

The children, who cheer their mother’s successes in the way I imagine they might one of their father’s famous free kicks, exchange a round of hugs and “I love yous” before leaving us to continue our conversation. “I’ll be home after tea,” shouts Beckham before apologising to me once again.

Beckham and her children do a good job of convincing me that she is a master at what she calls “the juggling act”. “I respect anyone who works hard who has a family. There are so many of us out there, working hard for what we believe in,” she says.

And is it those women she wants to dress? “From the very start, what mattered to me was that I created a brand that was believable,” says Beckham. “It has always been about the clothes I want to wear. I want to make a woman feel like the best version of herself, whoever she is.”

It is this autobiographical approach that serves as a huge draw to customers of the Beckham label, which has developed to include much more than the signature corset dresses she launched with. “I still love those dresses but I’ve evolved, I’ve moved on.”

I wonder if this is because Beckham has won over the fashion naysayers who laughed in her face when she set out her stall as a designer? “I’ve definitely loosened the way I dress,” she says. “That could be because I work a lot and go out a lot less but it’s also because I’m older and more confident. I don’t have anything to prove.”

It is this quiet air of confidence that makes Beckham the fashion maven such a likeable figure. That and the fact that she has achieved what everyone said she wouldn’t.

“I probably don’t stop to think about it as much as I should but I am very proud of myself,” she says. “But then I’m always looking to the next thing. I’ll always want to better myself.”

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Written by: Admin, Wednesday, 2014/09/24 at 1:44 PM Leave A Comment

LONDON — Victoria Beckham has built a dream space on Dover Street in London, her first store and “second home” in Mayfair, where she can express her vision on the shop floor. The 6,040-square-foot space spans three floors, and has more in common with a contemporary art gallery than a typical London luxury flagship.

Designed by the architect Farshid Moussavi, a Harvard professor whose past works include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Ohio, the first Victoria Beckham flagship was always meant to be a democratic space. “I wanted a space that was conceptual — but also warm and welcoming,” said Beckham, who was filled with excitement during a recent tour of the store, which opens Thursday.

“There are a lot of people — the general public — who’ve continued on this journey with me, and I want everybody to feel welcome, whether they’re going to buy something, or whether they just want to come and check out the architecture. And I really wanted people to get a sense of me the minute walked through they door,” said Beckham.

Everything — the ready-to-wear and accessories offer, merchandising, size of the dressing rooms, “blonde gold” zigzag rails and hanger chains — bears her fingerprint. There is also a conspicuous lack of cash registers; instead all transactions will be via iPad, eliminating the need for “ugly” tills, according to the designer.

“For the first time, it’s my designs, my vision. This is how I feel the clothes should be showcased, how I like them to be seen. That’s been very exciting for me — to be able to buy what I believe the customer wants,” said Beckham, adding it was important that the space be flexible and able to accommodate a “constant flow” of new product. “We can play with how we merchandise things, and I think that’s a very modern way of shopping. So hopefully, every time somebody comes to the store it’s going to be a slightly different experience,” she said.

As for her buy, Beckham said she’s invested “quite heavily” in show looks. “I think it’s important that women can actually buy what they see on the catwalk and what they’re seeing in magazines,” said the designer, who is also stocking exclusive sunglass styles, small leather goods, key rings and a skate chain inspired by the one her husband David Beckham wears.

Mr. Beckham himself — all smiles — made an unscheduled appearance during the walk-through, to the surprise of his wife. “It’s great, isn’t it, David?” she asked him. “Have you seen how these move?” she said as she twisted the walnut hangers that are attached to golden chains suspended from tracks on the ceiling.

She also recounted how the couple’s boys reacted when they first saw the space. “It was so cool when the kids saw it yesterday, David. They literally ran up the stairs, and Brooklyn ran to me and said, ‘This is the coolest shop ever!’ Cruz went like, ‘Wow, mummy has a proper job.’”

A gigantic polished concrete staircase visible throughout the store connects the three levels. Floors are also done in polished concrete, and are offset by stainless steel counters, the shiny zigzag clothing rails and the golden chain hangers. Ceilings are clad with stainless steel mirrors, with the exception of the top floor, where that surface has been done as a diagonal concrete grid.

A big, sliding concrete door marks the entrance, and the street-facing window has no display. Instead, passersby will be able to look straight into the ground floor, which houses accessories on retractable shelves, and the VVB and Denim collections.

Midway up the staircase, on the way to the top floor, is a blank wall where Beckham plans to project runway images or her own backstage footage of models. Upstairs houses rtw and a lineup of supersize dressing rooms, their doors clad in bottle-green glass. “When I go shopping, I’ve always got at least one child. There’s lots of room to hang clothes — and flattering lighting. I wanted the store to look beautiful, but I also wanted it to work as well,” she said.

The lower ground level — visible from the upper floors — is arguably the space that holds the most potential for Beckham. “I think I will do presentations there, whether it’s trunk shows, or it will be a case of me just turning up and having appointments with customers that want to see me, to place orders with me specifically. It’s important that I really have a presence because I’m so hands-on with every element of my business and people can see that, people can feel that, and so I will be here a lot. This does feel like my second home.”

The lower ground-floor space is so big that part of it will be used as a stockroom, both for the store and for the brand’s e-commerce site.

Beckham said the Mayfair location, with neighbors including Dover Street Market, John Rocha, Chucs Bar & Grill and a lineup of galleries and restaurants, is ideal. “I looked at lots of different locations, but I do believe in fate, and this just happened to be the perfect space in the most perfect street. I did look at other streets, but this just felt right. I feel very honored to actually be in a street amongst such incredible stores. The energy is incredible.”

Zach Duane, the brand’s chief executive officer, said it was critical the store be a reflection of Beckham’s brand. “The world is changed, people are shopping online a lot more, so what they are looking for in a store environment is an experience, a really strong sense of what the designer is about, their point of view, their world,” he said.

While digital is great — and important — Duane said the other side of the coin is “personal interaction. The customer starts to expect a different experience, so brands will be forced to be a bit more original in what they’re doing in their physical spaces.”

He also said the choice of street was strategic. While Dover Street is in the heart of Mayfair, it is better known for restaurants and art galleries than for luxury retail — although that’s rapidly changing. “There’s no way we could have opened a store like this on Bond Street. For the company we are today, and the size we are, it would have been impossible. So we decided that we’d go slightly off the track,” he said.

Duane declined to give a first-year sales projection. Real estate sources here said the annual rent on the building is about 550,000 pounds, or $900,000 at current exchange.

There is no question the London store is a milestone.

Duane said the U.K. is the brand’s “single best-performing country,” followed by North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Dover Street unit, he added, will be a template for future standalone stores and shops-in-shop. “It allows us to start thinking about how we take the idea, the finishes and designs that have gone into this store and reflect that in other stores around the world,” he said.

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Written by: Admin, Sunday, 2014/09/21 at 10:39 AM Leave A Comment

Soon to be launching her own boutique in London, Victoria Beckham has transformed her image over the last decade, going from Spice Girl to WAG – to internationally-renowned designer and fashion icon. And now the 40-year-old has topped a poll naming her the top style icon for the British.

The poll has revealed that we Brits prefer home-grown style icons, with Victoria Beckham at the forefront and Emma Watson and Kate Moss nipping at her stiletto heels.

Of the 1000 women aged 18-34 surveyed, nearly a fifth voted for former Spice Girl as their biggest style crush, confirming her transformation from pop star to fashion heavy-weight.

The top ten:

1. Victoria Beckham (18.2%)
2. Emma Watson (13.7)
3. Kate Moss (13.4%)
4. Olivia Palermo (13.2%)
5. Alexa Chung (12%)
6. Cara Delevingne (11.4%)
7. Jessica Alba (10.2%)
8. Kim Kardashian (7.6%)
9. Poppy Delevingne (7.2%)
10. Rita Ora (4.5%)

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Written by: Admin, Wednesday, 2014/09/17 at 6:14 PM Leave A Comment

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Victoria was seen leaving her new store today in London. You can check some pictures at our Gallery:

Gallery Link:

THE BECKHAMS > CANDIDS & APPEARANCES [HQ |LARGE] > 2014 > September 17th – London – Leaving her new store

Written by: Admin, Wednesday, 2014/09/17 at 6:07 PM Leave A Comment

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Mel was seen outside Nobu restaurant in New York yesterday. Check the pictures at our Gallery:

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MELANIE BROWN > CANDIDS & APPEARANCES [HQ |LARGE] > 2014 > September 16th – NY – At Nobu 57

Written by: Admin, Tuesday, 2014/09/16 at 6:50 PM Leave A Comment

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After visiting her new store, Victoria went to UK Vogue’s London Fashion Week reception party at Winfield House. Check out the pictures at our Gallery:

Gallery Link:

THE BECKHAMS > CANDIDS & APPEARANCES [HQ |LARGE] > 2014 > September 16th – London – Vogue celebrate London Fashion Week at Winfield House

Written by: Admin, Tuesday, 2014/09/16 at 6:24 PM Leave A Comment

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Victoria was seen leaving her new store today in London. You can check some pictures at our Gallery:

Gallery Link: 

THE BECKHAMS > CANDIDS & APPEARANCES [HQ |LARGE] > 2014 > September 16th – London – Leaving her new store

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