February 2017
Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Saks Fifth Avenue

A celebrated designer. A '90s pop star legend. A modern-day icon. In short: Victoria Beckham is cool, like, intimidatingly so. But at an intimate Q&A at Saks Fifth Avenue with the retailer's Fashion Director Roopal Patel, the British star got candid, turned on the charm, and gave us a flash of her cheery disposition (with the clothes to match). "I just can't get out of the music industry," she joked at one point. And that small sound byte is just one of many that will make you love her even more.

On looking effortless: "I may make it look easy, but the reason I wear sunglasses all the time: hiding a multitude of sins because let me tell you, I’m up late at night with those children. There's always one and he’s always up at night."

On being a mother: "It’s about surrounding yourself with the right people, making sure that the children always come first, making sure that I am at the school plays, that I’m a teacher in the evenings. And it’s the people I’m with that make everything possible."

On her marriage: "I’m lucky that David is such a hands-on dad. He’s so great, and we have so much respect for each other. When I’m traveling, he’s at home. And when he’s traveling, I’m at home, so the children will always be our priorities. We work really well together and we’re very present in the children’s lives and I think that’s very important to have a close relationship with all the kids."

On raising a girl: "Girls are so different from boys. My advice to Harper: It’s not about the prettiest girl in the class, not even the smartest girl, but who is the kindest girl—a girl who is kind to other children, who works really hard and wants to do her best. It's important that women support each other, to stick together. Nothing sickens me more when women are mean to another women. It’s about making all the children kind—to be good people, to treat other people the way they want to be treated themselves. It's the fundamental basics."

On the importance of smiling: "Another thing I said to Harper the other day—to smile. That really makes someone feel good, a warm feeling in their heart, because that’s how you feel when I smile at you. And I think it’s things like that, that means a lot, when you share those tips with children, you need to have fun and be happy. And for someone that never smiles, my goodness, the irony! It’s just the paparazzi pictures."

VIDEO: 10 of the Beckham's Cutest Family Photos

On why she went into the fashion industry: "Fashion has always been my passion—it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, but there was a little detour because I was in a pop group, but it was the fashion that excited me. I felt like I had a point of view. And I love women and I want to make women feel the best version of themselves. I always say it started with girl power, and now, it’s about empowering women through fashion in a different way."

On starting out: "I suppose I was quite naïve. I didn’t know very much about the industry, and I was very aware that people would have preconceptions and that was OK. I put my head down, I worked hard, and I surrounded myself with the right team and people, and just stayed focused. It was about me creating clothes that I wanted to wear."

On understanding her consumers: "I travel a lot. I’ve got 4 children. I want to make dressing easy for my customer. I’ve spent a long time working with customers and finding out what she likes, so I can give her exactly what she wants. I feel, for me, it’s important that I wear the clothes. I wear everything, I travel in everything. If I put something on, how does it look by the time I get off the airplane? I take all of that into consideration because I am my customer."

On the most important piece in her closet: "There’s nothing sexier than a woman in a white shirt. A white shirt goes with everything, it’s seasonless, it’s an investment, it’s something you’ll wear not just season after season, but year after year."

On continuously growing: "I’m my worst critic. I’m hard on myself. I’m very, very serious about what I do and I want to grow significantly. I’d love to do children’s wear at some point, I’d love to do menswear. There are so many things. I love to dream big, be optimistic, positive, and see what happens—when the time is right."