What David Beckham's new British Fashion Council role means for the industry

11th May 18 | Beauty

The fashion icon and entrepreneur has taken on a new role to support rising style stars, Katie Wright reports.

From footballer to style icon to clothing designer and, most recently, grooming guru with his new brand House 99, David Beckham’s career has been varied to say the least, and now the 43-year-old has added another string to his very fashionable bow.

Beckham has been appointed Ambassadorial President by the British Fashion Council (BFC), a role intended to support the organisation to build links in Asia and the US and promote burgeoning British designers globally.

Starting with a two-year tenure, the newly created role will also see Beckham focusing on fashion education in the UK, with visits to fashion schools and initiatives, as well as hosting events in China and America.

“Taking on this new role is an incredibly proud moment for me. I have long been passionate about British style, fashion and craftsmanship and this role gives me the chance to get under the skin of an industry I love,” said Beckham, who has worked closely with menswear brand Kent & Curwen since 2015.

“I am excited to be working closely with the British Fashion Council to promote and inspire young talent, from across the UK, on a global scale. The fashion industry is one of our best performing global exports and I am looking forward to working with our future leaders and supporting the BFC in their global ambitions.”

Stephanie Phair, British Fashion Council Chair, praised the former sports star for his “business acumen, global reach and passion for promoting talent”.

She commented: “As we look to boost support for the British fashion industry at a global level, we identified the need for a global figurehead, with global reach, who is able to shine a light on our incredible British fashion talent and ensure we build and create energy for the British fashion economy as we transition through the Brexit period, and David is perfectly placed to help us do this.”

‘Global reach’ precisely sums up why the ex-England captain is perfect for this role. With nearly 45 million followers on Instagram, business interests all over the world, a fashion designer wife and four children who are almost as famous as their parents, Beckham couldn’t be better placed to spread the word about British fashion.

Victoria Beckham has famously grown her eponymous high-end clothing brand from humble beginnings, gaining the respect and admiration of the industry along the way – but with the company making a loss last year, it could be that David is looking to bolster his wife’s business with his BFC role.

The former Spice Girl recently announced she’s working with Reebok on a sportswear collection, while David is a long time collaborator with Adidas (which owns Reebok) and announced in January the formation of Futbol Miami, a Major League Soccer team in Florida.

As an indication of his star pulling power, when the launch was announced Beckham posted a video featuring a who’s who of sporting greats offering congratulations, including tennis player Serena Williams, sprinter Usain Bolt and American football player Tom Brady, plus entertainment stars like Will Smith, Jay Z and Jennifer Lopez.

If Beckham can use his entrepreneurial talents and celebrity contacts to benefit the British fashion industry in the same way, this could well prove to be one of the greatest fashion collaborations of all time.

© Press Association 2018