Buro 24/7 Exclusive Interview: David Beckham
Behind-the-scenes of his campaign with H&M
David Beckham and H&M have become quite the sartorial power pairing over the last few years, and it's clear that their partnership is still going strong – perhaps especially now due to the football star's recent retirement and appearance in other, high-end fashion campaigns.
Beckham's latest move for the Swedish retail chain is a fun television ad to launch the spring collection of 'David Beckham Bodywear at H&M'. The campaign was shot by Nicolas Winding Refn – the director of Ryan Gosling films Drive and Only God Forgives (and perhaps the luckiest man in the world) – which will debut during the American Super Bowl broadcast on February 2. Buro 24/7 sits down David Beckham to find out more:
Can you tell us about your new campaign for your David Beckham Bodywear range at H&M?
I had such a great time filming last year's campaign with Guy Ritchie that I wanted to push myself this time to see what more I could do. I have always loved the films of Nicolas Winding Refn, particularly Drive and Only God Forgives, and so I was thrilled when he agreed to direct my new campaign. From the beginning I asked him to come up with an action filled story that also had a great sense of humour, in which I could also do all my own stunts.
What is it that you like about Nicolas Winding Refn's work?
His films are so incredibly tense and are full of action, yet they are also so stylish. I remember when Drive was first released, and everybody was talking about it. He manages to get so much packed into his films, and yet it all feels effortless. When it came to thinking who'd be perfect to shoot my next commercial, I knew he'd be right for the job.
Tell us the story in the commercial - what happens?
The commercial is set in a photo studio in East London, where I'm shooting a Bodywear campaign. It's on the top floor of a building, and during a break I step outside onto the roof to get some air. The door shuts, and I get locked out, on a roof, in just my briefs and vest. I have to do whatever it takes to get myself down from the roof.
What was it like doing all your own stunts?
Nicholas and his team worked hard to create a storyline that allowed me to be in every single scene. I've learned so much about the work and preparation that goes into even the most straightforward stunt. It takes incredible dedication from a whole team to make it all look natural, while also being safe for everyone involved. When it came to film the stunts, I was nervous, but I also knew I was in the best hands. When we had filmed them, it was such a thrill.
Is it true that there are going to be alternative endings?
Yes, it's true. I wanted there to be another twist to the campaign, and so we've filmed two alternative endings for the story. Visitors to HM.com will be able to vote for their favourite ending, with the winning version being debuted during the Superbowl on February 2. I can't wait to see which ending everyone around the world chooses to see!
Talk us through the new Spring range of your Bodywear collection.
We're introducing lots of new styles to the Bodywear collection at H&M, which continue with a heritage feel. I love the new stripes on pieces like long-sleeve Henleys and vests. There are two different types of stripe, one with a very thin stripe that feels like an update on classic undergarments, and then a wider stripe that is more like our take on preppy sportswear. There's also a new polo shirt shape, and a long-sleeved raglan top that's got a playful large letter B on the back. It's great to be taking these ideas from vintage pieces and making them feel fresh and contemporary.
What about the seasonless collection - is it still available?
Yes absolutely. At the heart of my Bodywear range is a core collection of pieces that will always be available, no matter what season. I wanted to create a collection that men could come to rely on, and would be available to them at every H&M store that sells menswear, no matter where they are in the world.
What do you think about the reaction to your Bodywear collection?
I'm overwhelmed by the reaction to my Bodywear collection at H&M. It's been an immediate success from the moment we introduced it back in 2012. At the time it felt like something very new to create a bodywear range that was based around fit and cut rather than on branding. It's been so satisfying that men around the world have responded so enthusiastically to the collection. It shows that it was the right decision to take, and that men are really looking for new classics to be in their wardrobe.
What's next for David Beckham Bodywear?
One of the most enjoyable parts of creating the collection is seeing what else can be included in our idea of bodywear. For instance, I love the loungewear pieces that are in the range, and which I love to wear when I'm relaxing at home. We think long and hard before we make any additions to the range, because we want everything that we do to be just right. We have a really exciting new addition to the collection coming this summer, which I can't wait to tell you about!