Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

VICTORIA Beckham did something very unusual for her 49th birthday celebration a few weeks ago – she had a piece of cake.

A seemingly ordinary thing to do given the occasion, but this signalled something significant for the woman whose strict diet of steamed fish and vegetables is the stuff of legend.

As she starts her 50th year, Victoria Beckham is in the happiest place of her life


As she starts her 50th year, Victoria Beckham is in the happiest place of her lifeCredit: Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Posh Spice's fashion and beauty empire is finally heading into the black


Posh Spice’s fashion and beauty empire is finally heading into the blackCredit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images
The biggest shadow over The Beckhams in recent years has been the feud between Victoria and Brooklyn’s wife Nicola Peltz


The biggest shadow over The Beckhams in recent years has been the feud between Victoria and Brooklyn’s wife Nicola Peltz

Because, as she starts her 50th year, Victoria is in the happiest place of her life – and it shows.

The famous pout has been replaced by wide smiles. She jokes and teases her millions of fans on Instagram. She seems more at home in her own skin.

And it’s no wonder. Her children are thriving, her near-24-year marriage to David Beckham has found a genuinely contented groove, and her fashion and beauty empire – which she has poured the last 15 years of her life into – is finally heading into the black.

Most satisfying of all? She’s had the last laugh on the critics who said she would never last.

David & Victoria Beckham go back to 1980s with matching double denim outfits
I'm a makeup pro - the dupes as good as top celebrity lines but way cheaper

In a recent interview with fashion industry bible Women’s Wear Daily, her brand’s investor David Belhassen announced that when the next company accounts are filed in December, he expects them to show that company revenues will be up by 42% to £58million.

For the first time, the company – which in its last accounts showed a loss of £2.2million – will be showing a profit, and a big part of that is thanks to her make-up line.

It launched at London Fashion Week in 2019 (which had VB fan Dame Helen Mirren in the front row) and even Victoria was shocked when two eyeshadow palettes immediately sold out, saying: “The reaction has been huge.”

With revenue of £2million within the first three months of launching, what started off as a small capsule collection continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Yes, her company may have borrowed £30million from other parts of the Beckham empire, and Belhassen’s company invested a further £30million into it back in 2017, but her brand can now stand on its own two feet – and even start to pay some of those loans back.

It means Victoria, who made her Paris Fashion Week debut last September, has made it.

The girl who was bullied for her acne at school has conquered the most image-obsessed industry on earth.

“Victoria has been unbelievable – on fire – and taking on every single challenge,” said an enthusiastic Belhassen, who claimed the business could take more than £100million in revenue over the next couple of years.

But for industry insiders, it’s not surprising news.

“When she presented her first collection of 10 dresses in 2008, there was an enormous amount of snobbery and scepticism in the fashion world – she was seen as a trashy Spice Girl,” says fashion strategist and writer Tiffanie Darke.

“Everyone was very, very snobby about it and I think I was probably among them.

“But she’s made of Teflon – she didn’t let any of that stop her, even though she was probably deeply aware of it. It must have been hard to deal with.

“I think there were many moments when everyone thought she’d give up and go away, but she hung on like a rottweiler and the fact that she’s actually now managed to turn it into a profit is quite amazing. “

“Most of us would have given up. Of course, she had the funds to keep going, but also the attitude that, come hell or high water, she was going to make this thing work. She just kept plugging away.”

And what an incredible journey it has been – from perma-tanned, pneumatic-breasted, denim-shorts-wearing pop star and WAG, to a genuine fashion and beauty powerhouse.

Even though she was nicknamed Posh Spice because of her love of designer clothes, when Victoria embarked on her reinvention, the most in-vogue companies didn’t just refuse to lend her clothes, but were outright furious when she bought them herself and wore them.

According to fashion gossip, Tom Ford tried to stop her wearing his designs, while Alexander McQueen banned her from his fashion show.

“For some in the world of couture, you only count if you went to the right design school, if you have the right sort of background,” says Jennifer Walderdorff, fashion specialist and author of Look @ The Labels.

“They aren’t interested in people who enter fashion from a different direction.”

But for all the haters, she had fans, too, as well as huge fame. Both came together when she made a guest appearance on US comedy Ugly Betty, playing a fictionalised version of herself, in 2007.

Marc Jacobs was one fashion A-lister who embraced her, and in 2008 she posed in a now-iconic advert with her long legs sticking out of one of his bags.

It was an indication of their meeting of minds – a cheeky, irreverent love of fashion.

Fashion heavyweight Roland Mouret, whose business partner Simon Fuller once managed the Spice Girls, became another friend and mentor.

And while Victoria was always able to use her star power, she did it in an exceptionally clever way by massaging the egos of the most important people in the fashion world, which proved as important as the quality of her designs.

“She started off by hiring the right people. She had a crack team of fashion insiders in charge of publicity and brand strategy, and then she started to make friends with the right people,” says Tiffanie.

“The editors who never really talked to new people in that world made an exception when it came to her.

“Part of that was because she showed willing – she had deeply immersed herself in that world – and she would do things like private tours backstage before her shows where she would talk through all the looks.

“She’s a star, so people would be like: ‘Well, Victoria Beckham has invited me.’

“And then, of course, she charmed everyone by bringing her kids and David along to every single show and very cleverly sitting them next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour. David worked his charm on Anna.”

Most importantly, she has gone into accessories and, crucially, make-up, which have made the brand more accessible for women who can’t afford to spend up to £1,600 on a dress.

Her mass-appeal items – snapped up by fashionistas and Spice Girl fans – are what have helped the brand head towards profitability, thanks to hugely popular items like her Satin Kajal Liner, Future Lash Mascara and the Posh Gloss, which was inspired by trips on a motorbike with David, when her hair would get stuck in her lips.

The personal element is everywhere.

Each piece of make-up comes with its own story, and she models them regularly to her 30.8 million Instagram and 11.7 million Twitter followers, even showing fans how to apply it to look like her.

What an incredible journey it has been for Victoria – from perma-tanned, pneumatic-breasted pop star and WAG


What an incredible journey it has been for Victoria – from perma-tanned, pneumatic-breasted pop star and WAGCredit: Jemal Countess/WireImage
Her near-24-year marriage to David Beckham has found a genuinely contented groove


Her near-24-year marriage to David Beckham has found a genuinely contented groove

“She doesn’t miss a trick and I am addicted to her videos on Instagram,” admits Tiffanie.

“The make-up brand is designed in a brilliant way, and I think in the first year of its launch, everything was delivered with a handwritten note from her, which was really clever. She has put herself front and centre and created her own community.”

Beauty influencer and stylist Vicki Bahra says the make-up range stands on its own terms as genuinely good, regardless of the label.

“I rave about her beauty line,” says Vicki.

“I first saw it when I was visiting her shop and I’ve tried lots of the products now – and they are all excellent. I find her lip definer and lipgloss particularly flattering, the eyeliner is equally fabulous, and the packaging all looks really good.

“I can see in the shop how the make-up brand is getting an increasingly bigger space, and I wonder whether she is surprised by how much it has taken off.

“The good thing is the price point isn’t too high, but the most important thing is that it is genuinely flattering.”

Victoria learned many lessons from being bullied at school.

It made her insecure, but it also showed her that if she just got her head down and worked through something, she could achieve whatever she wanted.

“It made me realise if I want something, I’m going to have to work hard at it,” she said. “Nothing ever came naturally, and that’s OK.”

Not being brilliant at either singing or dancing didn’t stop her from being in the bestselling girl band of all time.

Similarly, not having any design training hasn’t stopped her from ploughing her own furrow in the fashion world.

The key has always been hard work – and that is an ethos she and husband David share.

But even maintaining her image sounds exhausting.

She’s up at 6am to run for an hour, followed by a smoothie for breakfast, the school run, another hour’s workout – this time weightlifting – after which, she’s ready to throw herself into a hard day’s work. 

She is scrupulous about keeping to a strict diet, too, which her food-loving husband David once admitted being amazed at, saying: “[She] only eats grilled fish, steamed vegetables – she will very rarely deviate from that.”

Victoria said that wasn’t all she ate, insisting that she also liked salads, seeds and nuts – not what most of us call massive indulgences.

She knows she is the best advert for her wares and, indeed, she and husband David were among the first celebrities to make their entire family a brand.

Each of her and David’s four children are encouraged to do what they love, and the older ones all have the benefit of millions of social media followers – Romeo, 20, is a footballer signed by his father’s Inter Miami football club but currently on loan to Brentford B in the UK; Cruz, 18, is working on a music career; and Harper, 11, is still studying hard at school.

While their eldest, Brooklyn, 24, has flitted through various careers, including photographer and model, he is currently trying to carve out a niche as a chef, even if his online cooking videos are frequently ridiculed.

Victoria, who knows what it is like to be mocked, counsels him to ignore it.

The biggest shadow over their family in recent years has been, of course, the reported feud between Victoria and Brooklyn’s wife Nicola Peltz.

The pair were said to have fallen out after the American heiress and actress refused to wear any of her mother-in-law’s designs for her and Brooklyn’s April 2022 wedding.

Nicola denied there was any rift, while VB maintained her customary silence. Any tensions appear to have eased. 

“The big fallout was never really as bad as some people thought or made it out to be,” insists one source close to the Beckham family.

“Victoria and Nicola aren’t particularly close, because they haven’t got much in common, but they aren’t at odds with each other. 

“For quite a long time Nicola didn’t get Victoria’s dry sense of humour and felt she was being picked on, but that wasn’t the case at all.

“That’s how Victoria is with everyone – even her own children.

“She’s not mean or nasty, but quick and witty, but sometimes it fell flat with Nicola, and it reached its height when they were all under stress planning the wedding. But it seems to have ironed itself out now.”

Indeed Victoria, who loves children, is apparently secretly hoping for a new role within the family.

“She’s made no secret of the fact that she’d love to be a grandmother,” says the source.

“She wouldn’t necessarily like to be called Grandma, but she loves children. She and David started their family young and she knows there are some real advantages to being young parents.”

As for her and David, after some turbulent years, amid allegations he had been unfaithful, they too are in a great place.

“When you spend time with them, you see that she clearly adores David,” says the source.

“They both have their own space. David, in particular, often works on projects that take him away from her, but when they come back together, it’s as if they’ve never been apart.

“The most important thing is that they have fun together and David appreciates that she is a lot more comfortable in herself – she’s said that her 40s have been her defining years.”

Next year is due to be a big one. As well as celebrating her 50th birthday, Victoria will be marking her 25th wedding anniversary with David.

Just as with her design business, critics often insisted the pair would never last.

It all feels a long time since their tongue-in-cheek nuptials, where they sported matching purple outfits and sat on thrones.

Victoria has certainly reinvented herself over the years, and it is no wonder that her smile is bigger than ever – and she allows herself the odd indulgence.

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Even her biggest detractors would admit she’s earned it.

Victoria's successful make-up line launched at London Fashion Week in 2019


Victoria’s successful make-up line launched at London Fashion Week in 2019Credit: NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP via Getty Images
Her kids and David attend every single one of her shows, and regularly sit next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour


Her kids and David attend every single one of her shows, and regularly sit next to Vogue editor Anna WintourCredit: Darren Gerrish/WireImage
As well as celebrating her 50th birthday, Victoria will be marking her 25th wedding anniversary with David


As well as celebrating her 50th birthday, Victoria will be marking her 25th wedding anniversary with DavidCredit: Instagram/Victoria Beckham
Victoria has certainly reinvented herself over the years


Victoria has certainly reinvented herself over the years
  • Additional words: Mia Lyndon


When skincare giant Augustinus Bader collaborated with VB on her skincare line, squeals of delight could be heard across the industry.

The lightweight VB X Augustinus Bader Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer, £58, deeply penetrates the skin for a burst of hydration, even under make-up. 

Infused with botanical waxes, Posh Lipstick, £37, offers pouts a real pick-me-up.

Suitable for all, the hydrating formula has a flattering, barely there finish. Tints range from deep rouge to petal pink, but nude shade Smile is arguably the most legendary. 

Comprising seven shades – with delicious-sounding names such as Macaron and Caramel – VB EyeWear Eyeshadow Sticks, £30, are a recent addition to the line.

Sumptuously pigmented and crease-proof, these eyeshadows are perfect for day-to-night wear. 

Hailed as VB Beauty’s most iconic product, it’s little wonder that her Satin Kajal Liner, £26, is continuously selling out.

Dual-ended, the waterproof formula glides on with ease and can be effortlessly blended to recreate a signature VB smoky eye. 


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