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'I really wasn’t popular with the boys' Victoria Beckham on her school days and the moment she fell in love with David


We love it when Victoria Beckham gets nostalgic.

The leading fashion designer and the mother-of-four has been pulling on our nineties heartstrings, speaking about her glory days in the Spice Girls and the first time she met David Beckham.

During a Q&A with Fern Mallis, Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, in New York on Wednesday night, the said it was her Spice Girls manager and now close friend and fashion business manager, Simon Fuller, who initiated her meeting with David who played football for Manchester United at the time. 

"Simon was a huge Manchester United fan. He introduced me and David after the game…What I really liked about David right from the start is that when all the other players were in the lounge afterwards having a drink with their friends, David was sitting with his mum and dad and his younger sister. I really liked that. I’m really close to my family, he’s very close to his and I just thought that was really nice."

The 41-year-old went on to describe how David proposed to her in 1998: "We were in a hotel up north and he got down on one knee and he proposed. He asked my dad before he did that, which was great and very appropriate."

Before they were married; David Beckham and Victoria Adams in 1997

Before they were married; David Beckham and Victoria Adams in 1997

She said she really looks up to her parents and their relationship. "They've been together for I can't remember how many years. They're very happy, and they still sit in front of the TV together and hold hands."

"Growing up, my mum was a stay-at-home mum and my dad was an engineer. He was self-made, and he worked so hard. He worked really hard, and it was always his ambition to own a Rolls Royce. He was so proud of that car, but when he used to take us to school in the Rolls, I was just mortified. My siblings and I used to beg him to drop us off down the street, or to use the big van he had for work. 'Please, Dad, can we just take the van?'"

"How times have changed! I would much rather ride in a Rolls Royce now!"

Growing up, Victoria was always a fashion aficionado, turning the school toilets into her atelier: "I've always loved fashion. At school, I used to do a little bit of customising the school uniform in the toilets at lunchtime."

"I really wasn’t popular with the boys," she continued. "They weren’t interested in me," and added that her first date took her to McDonald's.

But she always knew she wanted to be a star and trained in a skill that comes as a surprise to us today: "I was never going to be a model. I studied dance until I was qualified to be a dance teacher. My mum said I had to have something to fall back on if it all went wrong. So if it does go wrong, I can always be a tap-dancing teacher."

The Spice Girls at the BRIT Awards in 1997

The Spice Girls at the BRIT Awards in 1997

Not that she had to worry. In 1994, she won a part in an all-female pop group that went onto become the Spice Girls with Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell.

"There were thousands of girls that turned up to audition for the group. There were queues around the studio. Everybody sang a pop song. I sang 'Mein Herr' from [the Broadway musical] Cabaret, which was really not the right thing to do, but it was very dramatic."

On the group's iconic name, Victoria said, "In the beginning, we were going to be The Spicy Girls, but then we realised there was a porn site called the Spicy Girls. That wouldn't have been good!"

"Posh was given to us by a British teen magazine, but we were already acting like our names. Mel B really did dress scary, always in leopard print. Emma really was Baby; she always wore pigtails and those bloody awful platform shoes! But I'm still very close to all of those girls. I'm really proud of what I achieved with them. We were just five girls who weren't all that great individually, but together, we were pretty great!" she said.

"Normal girls could relate to us. The message was that it’s OK to be different. That’s where girl power came from. Be who you are, be proud to be who you are and really value friendships."

In conversation with Fern Mallis in New York this week

In conversation with Fern Mallis in New York this week

For the first time, she also spoke of her struggles working in the band while pregnant with her and David's first child, Brooklyn, 16 years ago.

"We were on tour in America and performing in lots of amphitheaters...I remember it was really, really, really hot. I was wearing a PVC catsuit and a wig, because my hair was just out of control because it was so hot! I had such terrible morning sickness. And Melanie B, too, because she was pregnant at the same time. It was awful, absolutely awful. And then I got bigger, and bigger and bigger and I was still wearing that PVC catsuit and platform trainers. It was quite tough being on tour and being pregnant at the same time. I’d come off stage and I’d say to the tour manager, I can’t go on. What happens if I just say 'I’m going home and I don’t want to do this anymore?' Every night he would say, 'you’ll get sued, get the catsuit back on.'"

So what's next for the singer turned designer and entrepreneur? It seems an affordable fashion line might be in the pipeline: "I’d like to offer clothes to people that can’t or don’t want to pay designer prices. I really want to make women feel great and be empowered. I still want to reach out to that customer. It’s just figuring out who to do it with and when to do it."



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