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Lon­don Fash­ion Week kicked off Fri­day with all eyes on Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, who de­buted at the event on the 10th an­niver­sary of her la­bel’s launch, and on Burberry’s new star de­signer Ric­cardo Tisci.

The ex-Spice Girl, cel­e­brat­ing a decade since her brand’s 2008 un­veil­ing in New York, has since de­fied the naysay­ers and won her peers’ re­spect.

The Bri­ton now heads a fash­ion em­pire val­ued at £100 mil­lion ($131 mil­lion) by the in­dus­try press, although her ap­pear­ance in Lon­don is Beck­ham’s first at the coun­try’s pre­miere fash­ion show.

“Ten years ago, when Vic­to­ria Beck­ham started, many saw her as just an­other ex­am­ple of a celebrity want­ing to have a fash­ion range with no for­mal fash­ion train­ing,” Univer­sity of West­min­ster Pro­fes­sor Andrew Groves told AFP.

“Through hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion she has proved those early crit­ics wrong.”

Ahead of her home­com­ing of sorts, the 44-year-old mother-of-four fea­tured on Lon­don’s leg­endary Pic­cadilly Cir­cus ad­ver­tis­ing screens, ful­fill­ing a child­hood dream.

The de­signer’s show, sched­uled for Sun­day, is ex­pected to at­tract a host of VIPs, start­ing with the Beck­ham tribe – her hus­band David and their four chil­dren.

Bri­tish Vogue mag­a­zine, which fea­tures them on its Oc­to­ber cover, is hop­ing some for­mer band­mates may also at­tend.

“Fin­gers crossed for some Spice Girls on the front row,” it wrote.

The other big high­light of Lon­don’s week, ded­i­cated to the spring-sum­mer 2019 col­lec­tions and which ends on Tues­day, will see Tisci present his much an­tic­i­pated first col­lec­tion for Burberry.

The Ital­ian de­signer, for­merly of Givenchy, re­placed Christo­pher Bai­ley as chief cre­ative of­fi­cer of the lux­ury Bri­tish fash­ion house in March and will show­case on Mon­day.

He was cred­ited with re­viv­ing Givenchy dur­ing his 12-year ten­ure there, by cul­ti­vat­ing links with celebri­ties.

His ar­rival at Burberry is in­tended to rein­vig­o­rate the brand fol­low­ing dis­ap­point­ing prof­its in re­cent years. Burberry is re­ly­ing on Tisci, praised for his abil­ity to blend street-wear with high fash­ion, to re-en­er­gize its high­end pres­ence.

“Ric­cardo’s cre­ative vi­sion will re­in­force the am­bi­tions we have for Burberry and po­si­tion the brand firmly in lux­ury,” chief ex­ec­u­tive Marco Gob­betti said in a state­ment.

Naomi Braith­waite, se­nior lec­turer in fash­ion mar­ket­ing and brand­ing, Not­ting­ham Trent Univer­sity, told AFP that Tisci “seems a per­fect choice for Burberry.”

“His ten­dency to not be afraid to take cre­ative risks and in­no­vate (are) char­ac­ter­is­tics that have un­der­pinned Burberry’s phi­los­o­phy in the last few years,” she said.

Lon­don Fash­ion Week kicked off on Fri­day, declar­ing it­self fur-free for the first time as an in­creas­ing num­ber of de­sign­ers seek to bur­nish their eth­i­cal

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