David Beckham showed his prowess on the football field at Wembley last night, but today it was his pant prowess that was being scrutinised, as he unveiled the latest image for his Armani underwear campaign at Selfridges in London.
In his campest photoshoot yet, the 34-year-old LA Galaxy and Milan star poses stripped to black pants, with a rope coiled around his waist. His hair is slicked down and side-parted.
The crowd, many of whom had been there since 9am, jostled for space on the pavement, already crowded because of the tube strike. As the first billboard of Beckham to appear in London was unveiled, the crowd cheered and wolf-whistled their approval. One girl was sick with excitement over the barricade. His wife, Victoria Beckham, was inside the store, in personal shopping.
Wearing a navy single-breasted Armani suit and accompanied by presenter Gaby Logan, Beckham seemed bemused by the attention and screams from fans.
Logan congratulated him on England's win over Andorra yesterday, and when asked if he enjoyed posing for the campaign, he admitted: "I don't mind having the photograph taken but it's a little bit embarrassing when it's unveiled."
He confessed that his slicked down, side-parted hair was yet another in a long line of hairstyles for him and said: "I wondered about wearing it like that today." Logan quizzed him on his diet regime too. "There's no special diet but I did work out before these were taken," he said.
"I'm very proud to be here. I'm from London. My mum's here, my wife's here and my mother-in-law. Thank you to everyone for turning up."
Logan then asked if he would be bringing his family to see the billboard. "I might drive them past," he said. "I don't know about it giving me a buzz but I'm very proud of it."
Aaron Proud, a 21-year-old artist had been waiting to see the star since 10am. "He's such a good role model, very iconic and world famous," he said clutching a poster of the footballer.
"He's a good representative for Armani and he's so good looking. He's a worldwide icon. He's massive, a talented football player and a gay icon. I really like him. I think women like him because he's a family man. People are interested in Victoria as well. The level of his fame is massive, he's like Michael Jackson."
Giorgio Armani said, "David has a great sense of style and is an inspiring role model – this is what makes him the perfect partner for Emporio Armani underwear. I am very excited that David Beckham's new campaign image was unveiled exclusively in his home country and where better than at such an iconic retail destination as Selfridges."
The image was shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott renowned fashion photographers who are also responsible for the images of Victoria Beckham for Armani.
The company has seen a 150% rise in the sale of their pants – as seen on Beckham – since the three-year deal, rumoured to be worth £10m launched in 2007.