She juggles a global fashion brand, four children and one of the world’s most scrutinised marriages: how does the former Posh Spice keep the show on the road?
Along an Edward Hopper-esque cobblestone street two blocks from the Hudson river, outside a Brooklyn warehouse that is now a photographic studio the size of a baseball field, black SUVs are parked bumper to bumper. Inside, Mario Sorrenti, fashion royalty since he photographed a nude Kate Moss face down on a sofa for Calvin Klein’s Obsession in 1993, is perched on a wooden crate shooting the first Victoria Beckham X Reebok collection. Cara Taylor, the industry’s latest 17-year-old modelling sensation, a high school volleyball champ from Alabama whose fine curtain of wheat-gold hair falls across her cheekbones in the manner of a young Leonardo DiCaprio, wraps her arms around two other models, a boy and a girl, as Nonstop by Drake fades into All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar. Every couple of minutes, stylist Alastair McKimm, a Northern Ireland-born, New York-based godfather of luxe streetwear, darts on to set, minutely adjusting the hood of a sweatshirt with the beady eye of a society hostess plumping her drawing room cushions.
The designer of the Lucozade-orange trainers, sleek cropped tanks and oversized bomber jackets is perched on a director’s chair with a bird’s-eye view of it all. Victoria Beckham is wearing, as she always does, clothes from her catwalk label. Today, it is a military green sharp-collared shirt in stiff wool twill with shiny horn buttons tucked into matching high-waisted pleated trousers, accessorised with spike-heeled Balenciaga sock boots, a shiny red manicure and a bottle of San Pellegrino, which she sips through a straw so as not to smudge her lipstick. She hops down from the chair to pore over the monitors with Sorrenti or huddle with McKimm by the clothing rail. Beckham never raises her voice, but then she doesn’t need to, because everyone else stops talking as soon as she starts; she gives suggestions, rather than orders, but they are not queried.