By Howie Kahn
Victoria and David Beckham at a Versace Store Opening in 1999.
Photo Credit: D. Hogan/Getty Images
He's wearing his hair military short, and he's boyish to such an extreme that I want to take him out back and kick the ball around while the adults do adult things. He slouches, elbows on knees, and speaks softly about Intimately Beckham in sound bites tempered for SportsCenter. It seems like he's been practicing.
Then Victoria Beckham starts going, and nothing can stop her. She's shrewd, politic, and passionate and speaks knowingly in her saucy British accent about market research, current sales trends, and the conglomerate she resolutely refers to as "The House of Beckham."
"We're building a pyramid," Victoria says. "We have seven fragrances. Body washes. Moisturizers. Aftershaves. Body glitters. Denim. Sunglasses."
I ask whether Intimately Beckham (there's one for him, one for her) is a kind of autobiography in a bottle, and Victoria lunges toward me, slow, sharklike: "It is Us," she says.
"'It is Us,'" I repeat, confounded. "What does that mean?"
She deflects, saying only that "Us" has to do with tuberoses and David's desire to develop something "spicy."
So I'm to believe that the Beckhams are all flowers and heat?
Hardly. L.A.'s newest celebrity couple is sharper than that. Especially Victoria. The newly minted, TomKat-approved Stateside mogul and mother of three clearly knows how to capture minds, hearts, and dollars: by teasing with beauty, by surprising with smarts, and by plying a reporter with alcohol. Eventually she will look me in the face, grab my shoulders, massage them vigorously, and instruct, "Have a few drinks!"
She thinks I'm too serious.
Not serious; just terrified. I have seen the future, and it smells like the Beckhams.