Developing

'Dedication' key to Beckham success

Victoria Beckham says it takes "hard work and dedication" to be a successful designer, but aspiring creatives are hoping to show the Spice Girl turned fashion giant they have what it takes in a London Fashion Week showdown this weekend.

The mother of four is on the judging panel of the International Woolmark Prize which celebrates designs made from wool - a fabric she describes as "one of the most special of all materials".

Six finalists from around the world will compete against each other on Saturday night to win over £67,000, the opportunity to have their clothes sold in shops such as Harvey Nichols in London and Bergdorf Goodman in New York, plus invaluable industry recognition.

Taking place in the middle of Fashion Week, Beckham will be joined on the panel at the ME Hotel in central London by fellow fashion heavyweights Donatella Versace and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Perhaps best known for her dress designs - which have been worn by stars such as Beyonce, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez - Beckham is not afraid to cuddle up in some wool.

"The versatility of wool together with all it's familiar as well as fashion connotations makes it one of the most special of all materials," she said. "For the ready to wear collection we've used wool for a few seasons. As a natural fibre I love its comfort, strength and value. Used in the right way it can last and wear and take colour beautifully."

Now a celebrated designer, Beckham says aspiring designers should have more than just a knack for fashion, so what else is required?

"Hard work and dedication. But also recognising the importance of combining creativity with commercial viability. Understanding the business and all it's aspects is key as well as surrounding yourself with the right team and structure," she said.

Beckham is one of a nine-strong panel of influential industry figures, but is confident she has the necessary qualities to judge an international competition.

The finalists are Dion Lee from Australia, Ban Xiao Xue from China, Christian Wijnants from Belgium, Pankaj and Nidhi from India, Dressedundressed from Japan and Sophie Theallet from America.