David Beckham gets key new BFC role as Ambassadorial President
News from the British Fashion Council (BFC) is coming thick and fast at the moment. Just a day after naming Farfetch exec Stephanie Phair as its new Chair, the group has unveiled David Beckham in the brand new role of Ambassadorial President.
This is more than just a ‘face of’ deal. The footballer-turned-global celebrity phenomenon will be in the role for an initial period of two years and “will support the organisation in its goal to build networks and partnerships in the US and Asia.”
It's a canny move for the BFC with Beckham’s name virtually guaranteeing publicity and his value as an ambassador having been proved by the many brands that he has represented from H&M to L’Oréal, Adidas and whisky maker Haig. He has almost 45 million followers on Instagram alone.
He also formed a powerful partnership with Prince William in winning the Olympics for London in 2012 and repeated the performance (albeit unsuccessfully) in trying to win the Word Cup for England too.
And, of course, his profile in Asia is very high due to his successful footballing career, while that career, and his other activities, have also given him instant recognition in North America. His wife Victoria’s strong recognition in the US will also help and it’s perhaps significant that she will show her collection in London during the next fashion month, rather than in New York as usual.
So how will his role work for the high-end UK fashion sector? He “will partner closely with the BFC team to help the BFC boost support for the British fashion industry on a global scale – raising the profile of emerging British fashion talent with the global investment and media communities alike,” the organisation said.
And in addition to promoting ongoing innovation in the sector, “a key focus of the role will be supporting the BFC across their Education pillar – helping them to reach young talent from all backgrounds across the UK – through BFC-run Saturday Clubs, scholarships and apprenticeships and via increased engagement in arts education.”
The first 12 months of activity will see Beckham and industry leaders, including leading editors and designers, visiting fashion education programmes across the UK. And he will host events in China and the US, “unlocking his global network to convene support for the BFC’s work in these markets.”
Phair said of the appointment: “As we look to boost support for the British fashion industry at a global level we identified the need for a global figurehead, with global reach, who is able to shine a light on our incredible British fashion talent and ensure we build and create energy for the British fashion economy as we transition through the Brexit period – and David is perfectly placed to help us do this.
“We have spent the last few months working closely with David to identify how we can build on our networks in Asia and North America as we aim to support increased opportunities for businesses to grow in these regions. David has been inspired by our work with emerging talent and education and his business acumen, global reach and passion for promoting talent and education make him the perfect Ambassadorial President to propel our industry into different corners of the globe.”
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