Burberry’s F/W 11 Ad Campaign Goes Interracial

July 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Burberry was really into couples for the S/S 11 season. Each of their ads featured a man and a woman lounging on the shore of a rocky beach in studded motorcycle jackets, leopard dresses, and silver leather pants. “Lost Goes Luxury” might have been the concept.

Burberry S/S 11

Burberry S/S 11

Burberry S/S 11

The clothes looked great, and the ads promoted an accessible, almost wholesome image for the brand. I thought it was strange, though, that the couples (I found 5 total) were either all white or black – there weren’t any interracial ones (or Latino or Asian ones, but that’s another story). Considering they released at least 5 couple images for the season, why did Burberry choose to separate models by race in each shot? What did Burberry think interracial images would say about the brand? Would it have been too “edgy,” perhaps? I’m sure there was some marketing strategy at work here. Perhaps different images catered to different communities or publications (or countries?). I can’t be certain; however, I found the distinct separation of black and white to be off putting. It was, on some level, a “separate but equal” situation.

In light of the segregated images from the S/S 11 season, I was pleasantly surprised to see two interracial images as part of Burberry’s newly released F/W 11 campaign. They feature black model Jourdan Dunn posing with white British model Matthew Whitehouse.

Jourdan Dunn and Matthew Whitehouse for Burberry F/W 11 (via imageshack)

Jourdan Dunn and Matthew Whitehouse for Burberry F/W 11

The other images not included in this blog from the F/W 11 campaign feature random numbers of people posing, which makes the images of Dunn and Whitehouse appear much less couple-y. Regardless, it is nice to see interracial images when I open fashion magazines because, sadly, they can be rare.

Perhaps Burberry will push their racial consciousness even further next season and finally hire an Asian model. They might, but I’m not holding my breath.

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