New Brooklyn Beckham Burberry campaign causes controversy

Carvell Conduah photographed by Brooklyn Beckham for the live Burberry Brit fragrances campaign shoot on Instagram. Courtesy of Burberry

Burberry announced earlier this week that it had hired the eldest of the Beckham brood, Brooklyn, to shoot the latest campaign for its Brit fragrance.

The campaign, which marks the relaunch of the brand’s Brit fragrances as one collection, was shot live, which allowed followers of the brand’s Snapchat account to follow along in real time. Images from the campaign and behind-the-scene shots are still available on the brand’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Kakao pages.

Among the five campaign portraits, models are seen sporting a number of Burberry looks, set against a variety of London-based backdrops. Additional images will appear in stores and across the digital platforms in July.

While we don't deny that the images are breathtaking, the hiring of Beckham, who was making his photo-shoot debut, has raised questions about merit, talent and blatant nepotism in the fashion industry. In an interview with The Guardian, photographer Chris Floyd, who has photographed the likes of Stephen Fry and Paul McCartney, labelled this as a "devaluation of photography".

Floyd added that this goes against everything that Brooklyn’s parents represent. “David and Victoria Beckham represent sheer willpower and graft. Especially her, she’s climbed that mountain all by herself. They represent hard work and then their 16-year-old year son comes along and it’s sheer nepotism. He hasn’t done it from hard work, which is counter-intuitive to what his parents represent.”

Burberry’s CEO, Christopher Bailey, justified the brand’s decision to hire the 16 year old, stating: “Brooklyn has a really great eye for image and Instagram works brilliantly for him as a platform to showcase his work. His style and attitude were exactly what we wanted to capture in the spirit of this new Brit fragrance campaign and I am loving the shots of today’s live shoot, which looks incredible.”