Need another reason to lament society’s unhealthy obsession with celebrity?
The magazine cites the success of her eponymous fashion brand as reasoning for her top spot on its annual list. Launched in 2008, Victoria Beckham became “a fixture at New York Fashion Week” by 2011 and has since opened a 6,000 sq ft boutique in London’s fittingly posh Mayfair neighborhood.
In the past 5 years, the business has seen a 2,900% sales growth and a 3,233% employment growth. A sum of 100 workers now operate the brand’s London headquarters, which takes up several floors of a central London office tower.
Such high praise for a celebrity oft-accused of egomania and rampant hedonism has, of course, resulted in a backlash against Management Today’s decision.
In an impassioned editor’s letter defending the choice, Matthew Gwyther wrote, “There are going to be some who scoff at the fact that Victoria Beckham is MT’s top entrepreneur in our 2014 list. Some will say she’s never been taught how to cut a pattern, or iron a pleat on a fashion course. Others will say she’s merely the Eliza Doolittle of that mysterious 21st-century Professor Higgins, Simon Fuller. Doubters will claim she’s just the wife of the world’s most famously over-tattooed ex-footballer. It’s all come to her far too easily.”
Gwyther continued, “She is what she is. And what Mrs Beckham is has created a company that is both real and wildly successful.”