Victoria Beckham has been recognised with an OBE in the New Year Honours after establishing herself as a powerful force in the fashion industry.
The 42-year-old rose to fame as Posh Spice in 1990s girl band the Spice Girls, known for her sophisticated style, but “felt uncomfortable” performing with the group.
She launched a short-lived solo career when the group split but realised her true “passion” was fashion and defied critics as she forged a successful career in the industry.
Her honour comes after almost 17 years in the business and 13 years after her husband, former England and Manchester United player David Beckham, was awarded the same title for his services to football.
The designer and entrepreneur made her catwalk debut in 2000 when she appeared as a model for Maria Grachvogel during London Fashion Week.
She went on to become the face of high fashion houses, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs and Roberto Cavalli.
Her first solo single after the break-up of the Spice Girls, a duet with Dane Bowers which reached number two in the charts in August 2000, was followed by three more top 10 hits.
But Victoria, who later quit music, admitted that her singing career had been a mistake.
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I had the privilege of spending time with Franca over the years. Not enough time as it now so sadly transpires. Whenever I was with her I was mesmerised by her strength of character, her charitable work, her creative vision. She encouraged me and inspired me whenever we spoke. What a legacy she leaves behind. RIP @francasozzani1. 💔x VB
She told Harper’s Bazaar in 2009: “People never believed the solo singing career, and it wasn’t the real me – I was a little bit lost at the time.”
Victoria launched her first fashion label – denim line dVb Style – in 2006, but her reputation as a designer soared following the release of high-end brand VB two years later.
The couture collection debuted at New York Fashion week and won “designer brand of the year” at the British Fashion Awards in 2011.
The former pop star launched a secondary label, Victoria by Victoria Beckham in 2012.
Former Spice Girls’ manager Simon Fuller said she had “always felt uncomfortable” in the band and had found her true vocation as a designer.
Speaking in April, he said: “I’ve known Victoria since she was 18 and her passion in life was always clothes.
“She was called Posh Spice because she always wore the best dresses and she knew everything about clothes.”
He added: “She’s now a legitimate fashion designer.
“Her company is worth literally hundreds of millions of dollars and there’s no stopping her.
“She will be – without any doubt – one of the world’s greatest designers in the next few years.”
Victoria has juggled her award-winning labels with bringing up her four children and charity work, as a patron for the Elton John Aids Foundation and as a campaigner for Save The Children.