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star struck

Queen Victoria

The former Spice Girl reigns over Japan with jeans, handbags and beauty clinics

By Chris Betros

If Britain really wants to increase its exports to Japan, it should send Victoria Beckham out here more often. The 30-year-old wife of soccer superstar David Beckham showed she has lost none of her appeal during a three-day visit last month during which she appeared at promotional events for her latest line of merchandise.

Tanned and in terrific shape, Beckham didn't look five months pregnant with her third child. "We hope to have enough children to start a soccer team," she joked upon her arrival at Narita airport from China, where she attended Shanghai Fashion Week. Then it was into a hectic schedule of fashion shows, talk shows in department stores and glittering receptions for Rock and Republic jeans, Samantha Thavasa (bags, jewelry and other accessories) and beauty-clinic operator TBC.

Beckham's newest project is her line of jeans for Rock and Republic, which is being sold exclusively at Mitsukoshi department stores. "I wear jeans all the time, so I wanted to create my own line," said the former Spice Girl, clad in maternity jeans. "I wanted something with a different wash, a jean that would have the Wonder Bra effect on your bottom. It's low at the front. The legs are fitted and skinny and very long. They flare at the bottom, so they look great with high heels. These are flattering, sexy jeans for women with confidence, personality and who feel good about what they are wearing."

Beckham said she chose Japan for the launch of her jeans because "I like the way Japanese women wear denim. Japan is the most fashionable place I have been to."

As part of the line, Beckham is also marketing knickers and T-shirts with messages such as Royal Pain in the Ass, Victoria Rocks Tokyo and Becks Is My Boy. "Everytime I work on a new line, I ask David his opinion as a man. Does it make my bum or boobs look sexy?"

Beckham said she is always overwhelmed at the reception she and her husband get in Japan. "David is obviously very popular with women out here," she said. Popular is an understatement. Until the South Korean boom eclipsed them this year, the Beckhams were by far the most popular celebrities in Japan. In the summer of 2003, when they made a joint trip to Japan, news media helicopters tracked their limousine all the way in from Narita to the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi Hills, where they stayed. For the past year, they have appeared in several TV commercials, most notably one for TBC, in which they were shown cuddling up after a playful pillow fight. Their contracts with TBC, Meiji Seika chocolate company and other sponsors are said to be worth ¥500 million each.

Photo credit: Chris Betros

 

the scene

Tokyo International Film Festival

Screen stars from around the world descend on Bunkamura and Roppongi Hills

left to right: TV comedian Papaya Suzuki does his John Travolta routine,
Competition foreman Yoji Yamada, Juan Pablo Rebella, right, director of the Grand Prix-winning Uruguayan film Whisky, and actor Andres Pazos, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law
left to right: South Korean superstars Lee Byung-hun and Choi Ji-woo, Tom Hanks
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Actress Misaki Ito
   
Josh Hartnett (left), Kevin Kline (right)    

 

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