Anyone on Brighton Beach watching Mario Testino snapping away at Tali Lennox (rock legend Annie's daughter) and Tara Ferry (son to Roxy music's Bryan) for Burberry's 2011 spring/summer advertising campaign launched this month, could be forgiven for thinking that it was another display of rock star offspring being loved-up by luxury brands intent on keeping the spirit alive for the new generation. As Georgia May Jagger, in all her genetic glory, headlining for Chanel's St Tropez catwalk last year confirmed; rock-royalty is still a major trend. But for Burberry Chief Creative Director Christopher Bailey, the conversation goes much deeper than that. He calls the brand's engagement of Ferry, a model and drummer in the band Rubber Kiss Goodbye, and Lennox, a model sensation also lensed by Jonny Johansson for cult-brand Acne a bid to "reflect the diversity of our broad global consumer", casting "members with their own identity, embodying the different attitudes of the Burberry guy and girl".
There's no doubt that that since Bailey joined the heritage brand 10 years ago that he's been instrumental in re-engaging the youth market and one could argue he's done it with some help of the alchemy of music. He self-confesses to holing up in Yorkshire on the weekends, reading and listening to Dylan, and while he may have based an early collection around Marianne Faithfull, it was when he launched The Beat for Men fragrance inspired by specifically the music of the bands The Fratellis, Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian, where he literally sat with the perfumers and gave them the music to listen to that the connection was more heavily cemented. Things went a step further last year with the launch of Burberry Acoustic, a platform to support the founding and development of emerging British artists, and an initiative he touts as "basically live acoustic sessions with bands that we love, with bands that we admire, bands that we believe in, young British new bands". Selected by Bailey and filmed wearing Burberry (of course), the bands introduce themselves on their home turf and perform. "We have collaborated on so many projects with new and young emerging British bands over the years," he says. "We felt that with the great interaction that we have experienced with our social media website artofthetrench that we could collaborate with musicians and artists to put together an incredible group of ongoing acoustic sessions from some of the finest talent coming out of the UK." And it worked, the acoustic facebook site, which lets users share the music, boasts almost 5 million friends.
It should come as no surprise though. Speak to anyone in architecture, fashion, design, art and most will say that it's music that moves them. When we were dreaming up our latest issue of RUSSH (a special music issue on sale today playing tribute to creatives across the spectrum; model Abbey Lee Kershaw, pop-starlet Sky Ferreria to Bryan Ferry and Frida Giannini) I kept thinking back to a favourite Sam Taylor-Wood film - Nowhere Boy - which tells the story of John Lennon's youth, depicting him and his early comrades with Elvis inspired-hair. After a visit to the Liverpool movie theatre to watch Elvis with his mother he says to her, "Why couldn't God make me Elvis?" To which she replied, "'Cause he was saving you for John Lennon."
I love this: John Lennon - before he was a Beatle, before the floppy bowl cut, before he pioneered round glasses - so inspired by Presley that it permeated everything he did, said and wore. Haven't we all been there? I felt that familiar feeling when watching the The Crookes , one of Bailey's acoustics, a band from Sheffield England, heavily inspired by the 50s and 60s, they look strikingly like Lennon back in his Quarrymen days. They sing a little song called Yes, Yes, We're Magicians. It's what we've been saying all along: music is magic.
To see what's in the new issue of RUSSH click here