Victoria Beckham‘s top designer will leave her job at the former-Spice Girl’s hard-hit fashion brand as it tries to claw back enormous losses, insiders told MailOnline.
Design director Ilaria Icardi – a close friend of the fashion mogul – has been dubbed the ‘creative brains’ behind Mrs Beckham’s clothing label.
But she is set to leave the company after seven years – with Mrs Beckham’s publicists insisting it is by a ‘mutual agreement’.
A source also told MailOnline that dozens of staff were due to be made redundant in a wide-ranging shakeup along with Icardi, but this was categorically denied by the fashion brand.
Victoria Beckham ‘s top designer Ilaria Icardi (right) will leave her job at the hard-hit fashion brand as it tries to claw back enormous losses, insiders told MailOnline
Design director Ilaria Icardi – a close friend of the fashion mogul (pictured together on Mrs Beckham’s Instagram) – has been dubbed the ‘creative brains’ behind Mrs Beckham’s clothing firm
Mrs Beckham, 46, and her ex-footballer husband David, 45, are estimated to be worth £355million.
Ms Icardi’s departure from the company follows reports that the Victoria Beckham fashion label has racked up more than £46million in losses since it launched.
In accounts submitted earlier this month, auditors warned of ‘significant doubt’ about the company’s ability to continue operating after it recorded losses of £11.8million for 2019 and £12.3million for 2018.
A Victoria Beckham spokesperson said: ‘Ilaria Icardi, design director at Victoria Beckham, will be leaving the company later this year.
‘Ilaria has made a hugely important contribution to Victoria Beckham over the last seven years.
‘Her creative vision has played a meaningful role in shaping the brand to where it is today and we wish her every success in the future.’
In July it was revealed that Mrs Beckham would make 20 staff redundant to ‘future-proof’ her label after the coronavirus pandemic.
It came one month after Mrs Beckham was loaned a £6.4 million lifeline to save the fashion empire.
A member of the brand’s design team – who asked not to be named – told MailOnline that Covid is ‘just an excuse’ for the brand’s struggles.
They said: ‘It’s such a horrible atmosphere at the moment. For the past year everyone has been in constant fear of losing their jobs.’
Mrs Beckham, 46, launched her fashion label in 2008 with a small collection of dresses. It swiftly grew to an extensive range that now includes handbags, coats, shoes and accessories Pictured: The Victoria Beckham flagship store in Mayfair, London
They added: ‘Most people would have left if it wasn’t for the pandemic but the fashion industry is so tough at the moment.’
Accountants earlier said Mrs Beckham’s fashion business will need continued financial support from shareholders to keep it going.
‘These events or conditions indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,’ the auditors wrote.
Mrs Beckham, 46, launched her fashion label in 2008 with a small collection of dresses. It swiftly grew to an extensive range that now includes handbags, coats, shoes and accessories.
Friends of the star say she is determined to continue with her company even though her detractors have dismissed it as a vanity project.
Victoria Beckham (pictured) will axe 20 staff at her loss-making fashion label, it was reported last year
One said: ‘This is what gives Victoria her identity, she loves it and despite its obvious obstacles, she is a grafter and hugely passionate about it.’
Last month, it emerged that she and her husband David had paid themselves £40,000-a-day thanks to the profit made by his company, DB Ventures, which has covered Mrs Beckham’s losses in previous years.
She attracted criticism last year for trying to use the Government’s furlough scheme to pay 30 of her 120 staff and was forced into an embarrassing U-turn.
Last week, it emerged that Mrs Beckham’s beauty range she set up in 2019 has suffered a loss of £4.7 million.
A spokeswoman for Mrs Beckham said: ‘Whilst 2019 was a challenging year, the business halved its losses – a significant step in the road to profitability.
‘The launch of the hugely successful beauty line in the same year helped drive overall revenues up 7 per cent on 2018 and both businesses are focused on profitable growth.
‘The showcase of the recent AW21 fashion collection has been well-received by fashion critics and the beauty business has seen multiple sell-out products in recent months.’
In July last year it was revealed that Mrs Beckham was to axe 20 staff at her loss-making fashion label to ‘future-proof’ it after the coronavirus pandemic – just months after reversing plans to furlough employees.
Mrs Beckham’s company will also halve the number of annual fashion collections after being hard-hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
The blow for staff came just two months after she faced criticism for deciding to furlough 30 members of staff.
Mrs Beckham, 46, and her ex-footballer husband David, 45, are estimated to be worth £355million
Public outcry prompted her to reverse the decision, insisting her team’s welfare ‘means everything to me’.
A source told The Sun the July redundancies were a bid to save the label.
They said: ‘Victoria is devastated. These are really tough times and no one is exempt from the pandemic’s clutches.
‘This business is her pride and joy. It has never been about money. She hasn’t even paid herself for the past three years.
‘She is doing all she can simply to keep as many people in work as possible.’
A spokesman for Mrs Beckham said: ‘We have built a new strategic vision to streamline and future-proof the brand and, sadly, have to make redundancies to deliver this.’