x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

David Beckham's transition from football star to style maven

David Beckham has gone from football legend to fashion icon in less than a decade. We ask: what ticks his style boxes?

David Beckham's Bodywear for H&M campaign. Alasdair McLellan
David Beckham's Bodywear for H&M campaign. Alasdair McLellan

It was clear as he steered a speedboat down the Thames during the Olympics closing ceremony: David Beckham has made the seamless transition from football star to style maven in just more than a decade. Proof came in February with the debut of his signature Bodywear collection for H&M. Credited with having brought long-johns back in vogue, Beckham's range of briefs, trunks and T-shirts is now selling at nearly 1,800 stores in 44 countries.


What has the reaction to your Bodywear range for H&M been like?

I've had such an incredible reaction since we launched; the response worldwide has been overwhelming. The launch was such a memorable time for me, from the party in London to the commercial shown during the Super Bowl in the US. Since the launch, it's been so great to read all the comments from fans on my Facebook page, who always let me know exactly what they think about the range. Luckily, they love it.


Did the collaboration turn out to be everything you had hoped?

I'm so happy that men have really understood this isn't a one-off collection. This is a bodywear brand with H&M that is here to stay. It's great that men have been buying pieces to become part of their wardrobe and are already relying on the comfort and quality of our designs. Before we launched, we went through 18 months of research and development. What has been really pleasing is that my range is being worn by men of all ages, from all walks of life.


Tell us about the new campaign.

I love the images we've shot for autumn. Once again I've worked with the British photographer Alasdair McLellan who has such an amazing eye. I really enjoy being photographed by him. His images manage to make men look both classic and contemporary at the same time. For these images, we went for a tougher mood against a black background, with the images shot in a studio so that the focus is truly on the products. The images make the products feel like brand new. I'm really proud of them.


Underwear aside, what are some essential pieces in your wardrobe?

With clothing, I rely on classic pieces, such as great jeans, sweaters or biker jackets for when I'm off-duty. Or the most perfectly tailored suit when I want to look my best. My wardrobe has evolved as the years have gone by, and I've learnt many lessons about style along the way.


What might some of those lessons be?

I've had a lot of fun with fashion over the years and have come to realise that what is most important is being true to who you are. My life has so many different facets, from being a sportsman, to a dad and a global ambassador, that I find myself in so many different situations and places around the world. It is good to be able to keep my style a constant and know that I am always being myself.


Finally, who is your style icon?

I have always admired Steve McQueen, who was effortless and natural in his style.


• See the David Beckham Bodywear collection for H&M in stores across the UAE or online at www.hm.com