Wonderland.

Brooklyn Beckham

In his first ever interview, we talk
pubs, parents and publishing
with Brooklyn Beckham.

T-shirt BURBERRY, jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS, headphones BEATS and braclets CARTIER

T-shirt BURBERRY, jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS, headphones BEATS and braclets CARTIER

BROOKLYN BECKHAM — “BB” on email and “Buster” to his mum and dad — almost expels a swear word at the start of our interview, although he stops himself before he’s barely parted his lips. Despite a lifetime spent in the limelight, this is the oldest Beckham baby’s first interview proper, having undertaken a Q+A with Miss Vogue in 2015 and not much else.

Like any upstanding journalist, I used the prospect of my chat with Brooklyn as an opportunity to partake in extensive research. By that, I mean I watched about a week’s worth of documentaries on his parents instead of doing any real work. You see, the Beckhams are like the people’s royals in Britain. If we were ever to define the British Dream, Posh and Becks would be it.

“I didn’t actually know that they were big until I was about 13,” Brooklyn chuckles. His voice is soft and his manners are impeccable. “I went to a football game and people were shouting my dad’s name and I was like, ‘What?! Oh my God.’” His face aghast. “I don’t look at them like that.”

After a stint in Arsenal’s Under-18 team — to everyone’s surprise — Brooklyn eschewed a career in football and left the squad in 2015, favouring his A Level studies. Even in the grainy noughts films I’ve been locked into, baby Brooklyn was being told off by a “sometimes scary” Victoria for kicking a ball in the house. “Even now people ask me, ‘Are you gonna follow your dad?’” He bemoans. “I want to go in my own direction, kind of my mum’s style, but not really…”

Victoria Beckham’s transformation from pop idol to fashion designer blew away an unforgiving industry and at just 17 years old, Brooklyn’s flying along a similar trajectory, already planning to release a book of his photography in June, What I See.

“It’s pretty exciting to put my work out there and show people that I’m not just doing it because of who my parents are,” Brooklyn enthuses. Although, he does have his parents in part to thank for his creative endeavours, his mum nudged him towards a photography A Level and he takes snaps of her at home; his dad bought him his first camera (“a Fujifilm”).

“I went to a football game and people were shouting my dad’s name and I was like, ‘What?! Oh my God.”

July 2016 saw Brooklyn produce his first campaign, live for all the internet to see on Burberry’s official Snapchat and Instagram. “I can’t believe they asked me to do that,” he exhales, though he admits he only got into fashion a couple of years ago upon his family’s return to London, after six years in Los Angeles following David’s move to LA Galaxy. “When I was told, I thought it was a joke at first. Then it was amazing, I got to pick the models; being in control of the whole shoot was pretty cool, especially at my age.”

It’s clear Brooklyn’s done his homework, citing industry greats, Steven Meisel and David Sims as inspirations. He plans on returning to the US later this year to study photography. “I’ve looked at a few universities [in New York],” he grins bashfully. “I’ve sent off my application. I’ll see what they think and hopefully they’ll let me go!”

Surely by now he should feel as comfortable pouting in front of a camera as he is pointing one, having graced the covers of Man About Town and Rollacoaster, the former being his debut piece of official press. “I was very nervous,” he squirms. “I was being sick, I was with my mum, but it went really well.” Today, Brooklyn’s a different person, charming and confident, pulling out a chair from under the hair stylist — an old friend, not just an unsuspecting member of the team — like something out of an old-school Beano.

(LEFT) T-shirt GUCCI, tracksuit bottom ELLESSE and shoes CHURCH’S
(RIGHT) Shirt KENT AND CURWEN, jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS

T-shirt GUCCI, tracksuit bottom ELLESSE and shoes CHURCH’S
Shirt KENT AND CURWEN, jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS

About to hit 18 years old in March, (he whispers “two more months” at the mention) Brooklyn’s set to begin navigating adulthood and with it, a fresh onslaught of unrelenting tabloid attention. The paps will have to look for scandal elsewhere though, his big blowout birthday plans are endearingly modest. “I’ll probably go to the pub with my dad,” he offers when I search for the suggestion of a hedonistic night of rebellion. “I’ll go with a few of my best mates to the country and stay there for the weekend.”

As our shoot finishes, Brooklyn picks up a FaceTime call from his mum, telling her he’ll be home shortly. On the cusp of independence, he’s not quite got his freedom yet. Until then, he tells me he’ll continue skateboarding “after college every other night” like any other 17 year old, practising his “nightmare flip which is a double variable.” Gnarly. Quite unlike any other 17 year old, he’ll simultaneously command an Instagram following of 9.2million and prepare for his debut book launch, 10 months of hard work in the making.

You can’t help but wonder how Brooklyn will handle himself out in the big, bad world. With everyone watching his coming-of-age played out step-by-step on every available platform, what advice have his parents passed on? “Be humble,” he smiles sunnily again, with a beam that’s already broken a thousand teenage hearts. “That’s one of the biggest. And be kind.”

He’ll be just fine.

Like this? Buy the Spring ’17 Issue here.

(LEFT) Polo short JOHN SMEDLEY, tracksuit bottoms ELLESSE, socks STYLIST’S OWN, shoes CHURCH’S and all jewellery CARTIER
(RIGHT) Jacket LEVI’S, jumper and jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS, t-shirt CALVIN KLEIN JEANS and bracelets CARTIER

Polo short JOHN SMEDLEY, tracksuit bottoms ELLESSE, socks STYLIST’S OWN, shoes CHURCH’S and all jewellery CARTIER
Jacket LEVI’S, jumper and jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS, t-shirt CALVIN KLEIN JEANS and bracelets CARTIER

(LEFT) Jumper LOUIS VUITTON, bracelets CARTIER and ring STYLIST’S OWN
(MIDDLE) T-shirt STUDDY, jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS, boots BROOKLYN’S OWN and bracelet CARTIER
(RIGHT) Jumper PAUL SMITH, jeans LEVI’S and bracelets CARTIER

Jumper LOUIS VUITTON, bracelets CARTIER and ring STYLIST’S OWN
(MIDDLE) T-shirt STUDDY, jeans SAINT LAURENT PARIS, boots BROOKLYN’S OWN and bracelet CARTIER
Jumper PAUL SMITH, jeans LEVI’S and bracelets CARTIER
Photography
Christian Oita
Styling
Warren Leech
Words
Lily Walker
Grooming
Sean Nother at ART + COMMERCE
Make up
Amy Conley at STELLA CREATIVE ARTISTS using DIOR HOMME DERMO SYSTEMS and DREAMSKIN ADVANCED
Set Designer
Alun Davis
Photography Assistant
Harry Burner
Styling Assistant
Jess Gardener
Set Design Assistant
Charlie Speak
Brooklyn Beckham

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