David Beckham's fashion career so far has been less about fancy clothes and more about the full football strip — shorts, shirt, socks and boots. Or maybe a strip down to underwear for a lucrative ad.
But here was the former football captain in a formal fitted coat looking every bit the traditional English gentleman. While about him were all ancient accoutrements of manly style: blazers, neckties and snow-white leather gloves — as well as sport tops with pink rose emblems at the breast.
Beckham has become business director of Kent and Curwen, the Savile Row tailor with a penchant for sport, founded in 1926. Beckham has worked alongside creative director Daniel Kearns to inject allure — and a fresh sportiness — into the brand that has a powerful British history.
The new look for the tailoring house will go on sale at online shop Mr Porter in November and at the same time at stores in Asia where Kent and Curwen's owner, Trinity Limited, controlled by Hong Kong's Fung family, is based.
Daniel Kearns, the Dublin-born designer who had previously been at John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent, took me through the collection, showing modern sportswear like Fair Isle knit cricket sweaters, a heavy wool pea coat or gabardine bomber jacket, as well as more formal blazers and coats.
“It was very important that we bring someone in," said Beckham, even though he might have learned a thing or two about fashion presentations from his wife Victoria and her women's shows, which he attended last week in New York.
"I think he’s done that really well and has incorporated what I think and what he thinks. It's important that he has his creative eye and and I think he’s done this very well."
"I was interested in the Three Lion interpretation obviously, because we’ve got a very successful business throughout China and Asia and it’s known there as the three lions brand," explained Beckham.
"Incorporating the English rose was something that we felt very strongly about. It was about getting the right rose and the right lions and reinventing them without losing that rich history that we have."
"It was incredible to go into the Kent and Curwen archive and to see what has been created over the years and for us to keep to that real history. For me personally, because I am obviously very English myself, it was important that we brought it back to its roots where it all began.''