I’m going to fail in giving this man a decent introduction, because he really doesn’t need one. The face of H&M (among so many other brands) was over in the sister S.A.R. for the opening of the fashion brand’s flagship store over there… a former footballer, a humanitarian, a father of four and husband to an ex-Spice Girl and fashion designer… any guesses? Yep, it’s David Beckham. I hopped over on the ferry to Macau for a short and sweet chat with Golden Balls.
How would you describe your own personal style? What role does it play in designing for a brand?
There’s not a particular style I always go for; I’m quite relaxed with the things I like and the things I’ve picked in this collection. It’s quite relaxed: simple jeans, simple t-shirts, simple suits. That’s what it’s been like for me. My style also changes: I can wear jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of trainers or I can dress as a typical English gent. I love to dress very Saville Row, very English. When I sat down with H&M, I said look at pictures of me from the past and we went from there.
Victoria’s VB line is a big hit in the fashion scene. What do you think of the Asian fashion scene?
I think it’s great. Victoria has spent a lot of time over here, she was in Hong Kong a few weeks ago and she knows that many women in Asia have incredible bodies. The pieces in her collection suit the Asian body perfectly.
Victoria and I are also quite different – she’s a designer and I’m not. Obviously, I’ve been involved in picking certain things for a collection, but I have many other things going on. I wish I had the time to do what she does, but she puts every minute of the day into designing. I don’t have much time for that. Having said that, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve done with H&M, we’ve had a great relationship.
Would you consider moving to a city in Asia?
There are many cities and countries that I’ve lived in around the world, so nothing is off the table. If an opportunity comes up and it’s great, then of course, we’d consider it. My children are settled in London, they go to school in London, so we want them to continue to have a stable upbringing and a stable life for now.
I’ve visited many places in Asia over the past 20 years and I keep coming back, so I must love something about it, so who knows? There are different opportunities that come up.
Tell us about your short film with Guy Ritchie for the H&M Spring 2013 collection.
Guy Ritchie and I are good friends, so when we spoke about doing the campaign, we wanted it to be something that would be special to H&M. Guy is one of the first people I spoke to for advice. I think what we did was pretty incredible. He’s an amazing film director, so to do a campaign like this was interesting. I think he did an amazing job. I think people saw the humour throughout the spot and that was something we really wanted to get across. Running around the streets in my underwear was definitely something I’ll never forget; it was fun.
Would you consider a future in acting?
It’s not something I ever thought I’d go into, but doing things like I did with Guy and a few other things I’ve been involved with… I’ve done campaigns for a number of years with different sponsors and some of it has required a little bit of acting. Whether I’ve done that well, I don’t know. People seem to enjoy it. Going forward, who knows? If any opportunities come up in future that I’m interested in… we’ll see.
There are rumours you’re starring in Guy’s King Arthur movie. Can you confirm that?
I went down on set just to have a look around. Guy’s a friend, so there’s always opportunity for him to invite me to be in his movie if he thinks it works. We’ll see. Nothing’s confirmed yet.
What do you enjoy most about spending time with your family?
I love my family a lot, so the time I get to spend with them is very special. I’ve spent a lot of my career travelling the world. Now I’ve essentially ‘finished’, although I’m still busy and still travelling. I get to spend quite a lot of time with them. We do normal things: go to the park, ride bikes, play football, go to ballet now.
You’ve done a lot of work with UNICEF over the past 10 years, where do you see it going in the next 10 years?
We just announced our 7: The David Beckham Unicef Fund, which is something I’m very proud of. I’ve been with UNICEF for the last 10 years and worked with them for the last 14. My first time working with them was in Thailand; I was with Manchester United at the time.
My work with them will be going many places in the next 10 years, I’ll be doing a lot more. For the last decade, I’ve been a professional athlete and not had much time to travel and visit certain places, and now everything’s changing. My fund is what I’m most passionate about; it’s what’s most important to me, and what I solely focus on.
It’s been a few years since your retirement from football. Is your life exactly as you imagined it to be right now?
It’s actually been busier than I thought it would be. I thought I’d retire and go sit on a beach for a while, but no. I’ve had a bit more time to do that, but I’ve been travelling a lot more than I thought I would.
There were many plans put in place for my retirement, but no one knew I was retiring! I had to retire from football at some point. I think at 38 years old with a 22-year-long career at the top level, it’s pretty good. I knew that I was ready to actually go into the business side of things. There are certain projects and partnerships that have come up; H&M was a partnership I’ve had for years. It started when I was still playing. Things have gone great, and things will hopefully continue to go great. Having great partnerships with companies like H&M are important to me.
Would you change anything?
No. Not a single thing.