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DECLAN LEAVY MEETS VICTORIA BECKHAM IN DUBLIN

Earlier today, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting fashion designer and businesswoman, Victoria Beckham at an intimate preview of her Victoria Beckham and Victoria, Victoria Beckham Autumn/Winter 2012 fashion collections at Brown Thomas Dublin.

I arrived back in Dublin airport this morning after a trip to the States and half expected to see a crowd of screaming fans gathered in the hope of catching a glimpse of the former Spice Girl. But on second thought, I realised that Victoria is now best known for her stunning fashion collections rather than her singing prowess and that her fan base is no longer the type of young girls that hot-foot it to the airport to see their pop idol. Her primary fan base is now made up of fashion conscious women who covet one of her superb must-have dresses.

The popstar-turned-designer was in Dublin to present her new collections to around 15 fashion writers and editors – including yours truly – before meeting with 50 customers who have supported her fashion lebal, which has been one of the top performers at the luxury department store over the last four years.

Baby Harper, who turned one last week, was in tow, smiling and waving as her mom introduced her to us and we all fell in love! Looking adorable in a navy dress with red trim and matching red socks and hairband, her presence helped to somewhat break the ice as Victoria prepared to chat to the fashion press.

Electric blue and maroon double crepe polo fitted dress from the Victoria Beckham Autumn/Winter 12 collection

Victoria looked enviably chic and gorgeous in a military-style, €2,450 structured black coat from her Victoria Beckham collection and we even got a glimpse of her tanned long legs and black patent shoes with gold stiletto heel.

Once she relaxed and forgot about the cameras, a warm and chatty Victoria told us that she tries to visit as many of her retail stores as possible “and just meet the ladies that are buying my dresses.” But why does she do what she does? It must be pretty hectic juggling a family and hectic career. “I do it because I love women. I want to empower women. I want women to feel good about themselves and feel beautiful. I want to give them what they want so for me to meet them and get into fitting rooms with them and help them while they are trying on clothes, you know that kind of thing is really important for me. And to get feedback, I want that, I want to better myself constantly.”

Of course, Victoria married David in Ireland so the Emerald Isle holds a special place in her heart. “It’s so nice to come back. You know myself and David really love Dublin, that’s why we got married here so it’s a real treat to come back . Brown Thomas has always been very supportive of me and my collection right from the start. It’s a really exciting day. The boys couldn’t come today but Harper is here with me . There’s a really good energy in Ireland, that’s what I love it.”

I have a new-found fondness of Victoria Beckham after meeting her this morning. When the photographers are present, she always gives them her signature pout, but once she had relaxed in our company, she came across as a happy, beaming mum, wife and businesswoman who seems genuinely grateful to her fans. She looks younger than her 38 years and I have the utmost respect for her steely determination and business acumen. She certainly charmed this fashion editor!