Music is always remembered in terms of the fashion that went with it. Every time the staccato riff of ‘Jean Genie’ rings out, you can’t help but remember the lightning bolt and peroxide hair that accompanied it. Subcultures have always married the sonic with the visual; punk guitar and paperclips, metal riffs and mohicans, indie and top buttons all go hand-in-hand like arty bedfellows, two different mediums that share an intimate relationship.
It’s also fair to say, though, that fashion isn’t usually remembered in terms of accompanying music. Catwalk blog-pop or throwaway ‘alternative’ playlists churned-out by big brands are about as memorable as a Tesco Value Cheese Feast pizza. It’s rare to see a clothes brand bother dipping their fresh-creped feet into the murky waters of music selection.
This is where Burberry come in – the guys that gave you wavy checked polos and luxury trench coats. Turns out that the creative officer Christopher Bailey is obsessed with music, and they’ve got involved in the scene in many different ways.
Pretty crucially, they were the first global brand to become a curator on Apple Music, expanding their Burberry Acoustic videos to a wider audience and highlighting new British breakouts. They even have their own music team as part of the company, who help suggest soundtracks and artists for the firm to hook up with.
Most of their stuff focuses around acoustic, stripped back singer-songwriters. Bailey has a specific obsession (‘like a teenager’, he told the Guardian) with Tom Odell, for the very fact that he loves the sound of a slightly awkward, crackly voice. However, they also entered the classical world by commissioning Ilan Eshkeri to compose a stunning soundtrack for London Fashion Week back in September.
It’s definitely something to celebrate, and is an example of flipping the music/fashion relationship on its head. With profits up by a couple of billion in the last year, it also seems their music-centric approach is a pretty lucrative one. If you like music, and you like checks; it’s definitely worthing checking Burberry Music out.
Kyle Macneil- In house blogger