Burberry’s latest Chinese New Year campaign named “Modern Tradition”, has sparked controversy across China, with netizens questioning whether, in the wake of the D&G furore, it was another example of misconception of Chinese culture by European brands.
“These models look more like actors in a horror movie”. Most Weibo users are of the opinion that the campaign photos featuring Vicki Zhao and Zhou Dongyu, are dull and emotionless. A famous fashion photographer Ethan James Green shot the campaign. These fashion models sported the expressionless looks that do not reflect the festive mood of Chinese New Year.
Following the footsteps of Balenciaga and Dolce & Gabbana who flopped badly with their recent Chinese PR campaigns, Burberry’s is the latest European brand to fall in line with doomed Chinese campaigns.
Perhaps, it is time for big fashion brands to overhaul their PR teams so that they wouldn’t be treading lightly in their image for their hugely lucrative Asian markets. The problem could be the photographer himself as a western fashion photographer may not understand the Chinese culture fully regardless of his talents. This clearly is not just a fashion shoot as it contains hidden messages.