As a professionally ambitious woman, who's spent the last ten years attempting to juggle wee ones and work, I've always found the idea of Victoria Beckham - as a brand and a business - not as a woman - slightly galling. Let's be honest, if we all had round the clock childcare, an army of staff to empty the dishwasher and lay out the uniforms for the next day, not to mention the financial security of not having to bring home a salary - we would also have the time and head-space to design dresses and build a business empire - but would we do it? Or does VB really have that unique and creative acumen and drive to stand out from the rest of us professionally, even if she wasn't married to the world's most famous man?
Looks like she's out to prove me, and the rest of her detractors, wrong....
What does celebrity mean? Personally it conjures images of glitz, red carpets and less-than-accurate and ridiculous tabloid headlines - but business prowess? Strategic branding and retail skill? If you don't assosciate these with famous folk, think again....
With London Fashion Week starting this month we looked back at the artist formerly known as Posh Spice and how she stunned the world of fashion and business, by casting off her ‘pop star & power couple’ cloak to reveal a skilful, strategic and talented business figure. In late 2014 she led the Management Today list of the UK’s top entrepreneurs ensuring brand Victoria Beckham is a genuinely world class enterprise.
Team VB were elated at the success of their first shop in London, which has grown from £1m turnover to £30m, with staff numbers growing from 3 to 100.
In second place on the MT list are brother and sister Amit and Meeta Patel, whose business Auden McKenzie is at the cutting edge of the pharma industry. Two other women on the list are Yorkshire lasses Cathie Paver, of the fast-growing shoe chain, and software entrepreneur Suzanne Marshall-Forsyth.
Success for the government’s drive to encourage British manufacturing comes in the form of 30 of the 100 on the list coming from niche manufacturing businesses, including James Dyson of vacuum cleaning history; Ian and Nicola Warhurst of Mellett, making automotive turbocharger repair kits, and John Bloor, the saviour of the UK motorbike industry.
The other success stories making the top ten include Julian Dunkerton of SuperGroup (SuperDry); Ror MacGregor of Global Energy; Denise Coates of Bet365; John Roberts of AO.com; Peter Kelly of Softcat; Philip Doye of Kelway, and Jonathan Ruffer of Ruffer Management.
All of the above have made their mark without the boost of 'celebrity', so it can be done, and maybe VB would have made the list, even if her life had taken a different course....although that can never be proved.
Still not convinced that she could or would have done it without her privileged position in the food chain? Maybe not, but to give credit where it's due, VB has made the most of the resources available to her, and has ensured that Harper will grow up with a role model that dictates a woman should strive to be her best, fulfill her true potential and aim to leave a mark on the world in her own right - and leave the underwear modelling to the men!