Few footballers have achieved the iconic and commercial success of David Beckham, who recently announced the continuation of his underwear and bodywear range with fast-fashion giant H&M. In our February Issue, we wrote a feature on Beckham and H&M’s range of no-nonsense body wear.
Hailing from a country that loves to hate, with tabloids that place as much importance on a footballer’s personal life as his on-field performance, David Beckham has managed to maintain his status as the most marketable man in the beautiful game through a constant reinvention of style (all hail the sarong!), if not questionable haircuts (samurai, anyone?), and the ability to exercise his right to remain mum on almost any subject that could isolate him from potential tie-ups.
The Beckham legacy continues with a range of no-nonsense underwear that reveals a man whose East London roots have not been ripped out by Hollywood’s long venal tentacles. No matter how bright the lights of fame might shine, David is clearly a father, a husband and a role model to a global audience. Not quite “Jenny from the Block”, he’s still someone who tries to keep his feet firmly on the ground, especially when it comes to the question of national pride—or underwear.
“Simplicity and something that will last…” were the incredibly apt words chosen by David as part of his description for his collection, which ultimately reflects at least two of the golden rules that Mr Golden Balls lives by: keep it simple and never stop trying.
The style of this pragmatic collection of briefs, boxers, vests and T-shirts harks back to a time when men like the notorious Kray brothers would have it out for a few rounds in London’s fairground rings. It was a time when preparation for such an impromptu event merely involved stubbing out a cigarette, removing one’s shirt and stepping into the ring in a wife beater together with suit trousers held up by braces.
Adding to the campaign’s street credibility is none other than posh-lad-turned-bad-boy-filmmaker Guy Ritchie, who has directed a new film for the David Beckham Bodywear for H&M range revolving around the footballer as an action hero. Your personal opinion of football notwithstanding, David’s ubiquitous presence and pivotal sports ambassadorial role throughout the years has been hard to avoid, and this latest announcement will mark another commercial success in a career that has included campaigns for hair products, razor blades and designer shades—not to mention his own eau de Beckham.
Even with his latest heavy moustache, and short, back and sides, which give him an almost porno musketeer- like quality, one can’t help but admire a man who has succeeded in reinventing his style continually throughout the years without looking like mutton dressed as lamb—a fate that has befallen many stars, let alone footballers (yes, Lionel Messi, we’re looking at you).
The Bodywear collection has a decent, functional, everyman feel to it, and we suspect it will give football fans a slice of the sporting hero dream without them having to pay an arm and a leg for the privilege. We just hope the collection will be more attainable than some of H&M’s other limited-edition collaborations of the past that sold out faster than Becks can bend it.
Here’s a short video, directed by none other than Guy Ritchie, starring our illustrious football star that will no doubt give you a more dynamic look at the collaboration (and the benefits of lunges in your weekly workout regime):
Words by Jack Newberry.