Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Introducing the Burberry babes of 2008

'Hot' lists are de rigueur at this time of year but if you want to know who is truly boiling for 2008, there is arguably no more accurate a barometer than the Burberry advertising campaign.

According to its latest campaign for this spring, those whose star is in the ascendant include Coco Sumner, daughter of Sting, Merlin Ferry, son of Bryan, actors Alex Pettyfer and Eddie Redmayne, golfer Liam Wade and musicians Will Cameron and Jack Bevan.

Oh, and not forgetting model Agyness Deyn, linchpin of the campaign for the third year running, who is joined by a supporting cast of new young British models including Laura Fraser, Edie Campbell and Alice Gibb.

Deyn, who models silk trenchcoats, skinny dresses and a military-style coat, is starting the year on a high after a stellar 2007 which saw her crowned Model Of The Year at the British Fashion Awards.

Photographed by Mario Testino, the colour images are a departure from the black and white shots that were the brand's trademark in the days when Kate Moss led the campaigns.

The fashion house's designer, Christopher Bailey, said: "Movement, energy and character are the defining spirit of this new campaign. I wanted to work with an eclectic and talented group of the best British musicians, actors, models and sportspeople who are new additions to the Burberry family."

A keen music fan, Yorkshireman Bailey prides himself on his support for young British music talent. Last month he launched a new Burberry perfume, The Beat, at a rock venue in Camden with a live performance by The Fratellis.

Of course, the real star of the show is not the lead singer of a band, or even crop-haired model Deyn - it is the new Burberry It bag.

Following in the footsteps of the Manor, a favourite with Victoria Beckham, and the Knight, beloved by Sienna Miller, is the Warrior, a crescent-shaped titan sprinkled with metal studs in keeping with the tough lines of the new clothes.

With a starting price of £1,595 for the basic leather version, those women hoping that handbags might be cheaper this year are in for a disappointment.

If there is a recession looming, nobody told Burberry's customers, who bought with such alacrity that the firm posted a 31 per cent rise in profits last year.

Top performers were handbags costing between £800 and £2,600, which only 18 months ago accounted for five per cent of all handbag sales, a figure that has now risen between 50 and 60 per cent.

So strong is the demand for ultra-expensive bags that the new Warrior will also come in gold alligator, with a price tag of £13,000. There will also be lizard and python versions costing up to £11,000.

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