David Beckham Inks JV with Global Brands

David Beckham and hisbusiness partner Simon Fuller have inked a joint venture deal with Li & Fung spinoff Global Brands.

Global Brands said Wednesday that the venture "will drive the continued development of the brand in new consumer product categories and expand their interests by creating large scale global brands in partnership with a select number of high profile iconic sports and entertainment stars and rights holders."

Global Brands said the joint venture will capitalize on "Beckham's star power and status as one of the world's most famous sports and style icons." The company said the venture will also leverage Fuller's "deep understanding of consumers, talent, and sports and entertainment rights" and Global Brands' expertise in distribution, retail and design.

Beckham said the venture is the "first-of-its-kind." He added: "Simon and I have worked together for many years, and nobody understands artists and rights owners better than he does."

Back in April, WWD reported that Beckham had been talking to several companies, including Li & Fung, about launching his own men's sportswearcollection.

Since then, speculation about a Beckham-Li & Fung deal has been mounting. Last month, photos showing Beckham visiting Li & Fung's offices circulated online.

Beckham has been raising his fashion profile with several collaborations, including aswimwear and bodywear deal with Hennes & Mauritz, a men's fragrance partnership with Coty Inc. and apparel with Adidas. He is also the face of Belstaff's 2014 global ad campaign, which was shot by Peter Lindbergh. Beckham also designed a 10-piece capsule collection of motorbiking items for Belstaff.

Sourcing giant Li & Fung spun off its global brands and licensing business into a separately listed company in July. Global Brands has a portfolio of more than 350 labels, most of which are licensing agreements. Brands in its portfolio include Calvin Klein, Dockers, Tommy Hilfiger and Under Armour. The company also has experience with celebrity fashion lines, producing brands for Jennifer Lopez, Rachel Zoe and Sean John.

Bruce Rockowitz, chief executive officer and vice chairman of Global Brands, said Beckham is probably the "most fascinating personality" in the world.

"I have long admired his ability to push boundaries and drive trends in both sports and fashion. With the glamour and celebrity that David brings to this joint venture, together with Simon's remarkable business acumen and his many years as a successful entrepreneur in the world of sports and entertainment, I see an exciting future for our partnership in creating incredible brands," he said.


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