In the mid-2000s, two friends used to engage in an astonishing exercise: a very personal remake of My Fair Lady, musical in which Eliza Doolittle, a foul-mouthed young florist, played by Audrey Hepburn in George Cukor’s screen adaptation, takes lessons from a phonetics teacher to learn how to speak “like a lady”.
On the poster of this funny performance, played in complete privacy, the Frenchman Roland Mouret and the Englishwoman Victoria Beckham. The first is a couturier who has been living in London for ten years, whose close-fitting dresses with a Hitchcockian look have met with some success. The second was part of the Spice Girls, a pop music group from the 1990s with 100 million albums sold. She is married to star footballer David Beckham.
She is in her thirties and already imagines a new career. She wants to do fashion. She dreams of the profession of designer and the world of luxury, she who, within the Spice Girls was the most prepared, always insisting with the record company to obtain more budget for stage outfits.
An entry into the big leagues
Invited to a Versace fashion show in Milan, she had returned, she recalls today, “ like after a thousand Christmas Eve “. Victoria Beckham knows that the fashion world, so snobbish, so demanding, will ruthlessly judge the pop star, the “wag” – this acronym created by the British press to designate the “wives and girlfriends” (the “wives and girlfriends”) of footballers, just good enough, according to the tabloids, to give birth to their hero husbands and empty their bank accounts – come to try their luck in a universe that is not the his.
Roland Mouret therefore gives him lessons. He explains to her who is who, teaches her that imagining dresses is not enough, that they must be explained to journalists and department store buyers. ” It was really My Fair Lady, he describes. We were staging. I played the fashion journalist who came to interview her and she had to tell me about her collection, her vision. » She confides to him her fears of not being taken seriously, he reassures her. Others encourage it, like the designer Marc Jacobs, then creative director of Louis Vuitton. When she presented her very first collection in 2008 in New York, he congratulated her personally.
In September, it is a new stage that this singular Eliza Doolittle crosses. She will, for the first time, parade in Paris, during the most prestigious fashion week in the world. An entry into the big leagues, like a double shot. For her, whose name will appear among those of the most illustrious houses. And for the Parisian event, which cannot ignore the buzz that the Englishwoman will not fail to cause, surrounded by David, their children and famous friends. ” It is time. She is ready “, assures Ralph Toledano, chairman of the board of directors of Victoria Beckham Ltd (VBL). Associated with the NEO Investment Partners fund, which entered the capital of the brand in 2017, the man is well known in the luxury sector for having managed several houses (Guy Laroche, Chloé, etc.), as well as the Federation of Haute Couture and fashion.
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