|In the days before Beckham:|
Arsenal's legendary Alex
James, wearing his own
choice of famously long
"For a man so often seen modelling pants David Beckham was noticeably shy at the launch of his own range of underwear yesterday. Hundreds of fans hoping to catch a glimpse of "Goldenballs", as the footballer is known to his wife, had to make do with posters and nine-foot-tall silver statues. ... Putting his name to pants was perhaps a logical step for Beckham, the footballer, model and now hosier. His wife has put her name to an award-winning label and almost sold out of her second line when it launched earlier this week.According to the discussion on the Five Live Breakfast programme, Beckham is reputed to have designed the underwear himself. The Beckhams appear to be remarkably talented in this sphere of activity, since David's wife, one-time Spice Girl and model Victoria, is also described as a designer in her Wikipedia entry.
In a simple colour palette of grey, black and white, the nine no-frills cotton designs (which also include pyjama bottoms and vests) have a classic, sporty feel but there's none of the hi-tech fabric that Beckham will be more used to wearing in his day job. David has high ambitions for his brand. "I've been around for 36 years, I've seen my fair share of underwear," he said at a press conference. "I'd love to be as big as Calvin Klein."
The clamouring crowds that have become a familiar sight outside H&M on launch days were replaced by 300 people queuing patiently to get their hands on Beckham's underwear before today's global launch. ...
Matt Adams, 23, a graphic designer, and Leah Hummerston, 23, a fashion PR assistant, both professed their love for the star. "He's a massive celebrity and incredibly talented but seems humble with it", said Matt. "He's not just a successful businessman, he's a brand. I'd still buy H&M anyway because it's reasonably priced." Leah added: "It's more tongue-in-cheek than serious." ... ".
What interests this blogger is the point at which design and brand meet and, it seems, merge. It may well be that the Beckhams actually perform acts of creative design, possessing the necessary skills to execute the designs which they have conceived. At a more distant level, they may have secured the services of amanuenses who put into visual form the notions which the Beckhams explain to them. More distantly still, they may simply be shown a range of products independently designed by third parties, from which they exercise their aesthetic and/or commercial judgment in determining which deserve the accolade of being sold under one of the Beckham brand names.
In commercial terms it may not matter which of these procedures has resulted in new pair of pants, a dress or anything else appearing on the shelves and websites of retail operations. In legal terms, it can make quite a difference, though, as the securing of interests of brand owners against independent designers, the possibility of moral rights issues where copyright is involved and other related issues must be addressed.