British luxury fashion house Burberry trends today as conservatives troll their latest ad campaign. Titled “B: Mine,” the video clips and accompanying photos showcase various couples kissing while modeling Burberry clothing ahead of Valentine’s Day next month. Some of the models depict same-sex relationships, and one transgender model shows their top surgery scars.
The campaign aims at focusing on small everyday moments of embrace between couples of different racial backgrounds and sexualities.
— DSCENE Magazine (@designscene) January 24, 2023
The campaign immediately attracted homophobic and transphobic commentary from conservative media personalities on social media, specifically for the image of the model who had top surgery scars.
— Lidia Curanaj (@LidiaNews) January 25, 2023
Others applauded Burberry’s campaign for being more inclusive of models with different body types.
What are you talking about? Without even talking to them, I know that they obviously didn't feel right in their assigned bodies when they were born. Look, I get this makes you uncomfortable. You're going to need to adapt to and accept the fact that some people don't feel right…
— Jeff Hudson (@ItsJeffHudson) January 25, 2023
Others compared the campaign to Balenciaga’s recent controversy. The two campaigns bear no similarities, as Balenciaga’s photos featured children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear. The controversy led to accusations of sexualizing children and promoting child pornography. Burberry’s campaign features consenting LGBTQ+ adults.
Burberry’s long held reputation of exclusive luxury is likely what inspired the campaign, which may be aiming to expand their customer base to new demographics. While some conservatives argue that the brand should cater to its more traditional customer base, others point out that Burberry has been showcased in several show stopping British pop culture moments. These include a photo of a shirtless the Libertines frontman Pete Doherty in the back of a cab wearing nothing but a Burberry scarf.
Just losing it at the dramatics about the new Burberry ad campaign. People crying about how Burberry used to be so "classy" as if…
a. they had ever even bought anything from them
b. 'chav check' pic.twitter.com/UsDzrAd6e4
— (panicked) yeehaw! (@twinkiesandwine) January 25, 2023
Conservative organizers are using the campaign to argue against the availability of gender affirming surgeries like top surgery, calling it “mutilation.”
Disfiguring young woman should be a far larger issue to people than it is.
— Prophecy 13 (@prophecy__13) January 25, 2023
Some feel that the campaign’s positive messaging is being overshadowed by the homophobic rhetoric that is being spread across their social media.
TIP: To save your sanity do not look at why Burberry is trending. Just bigots hopping on the latest hate campaign.
— Daniel (@DailyLibber) January 25, 2023
Despite the mounting hate comments on the campaign, Burberry remains a well-established fashion house that has had several supermodels, including Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne, walk in their shows in recent years.
burberry counting stacks and giggling at the homophobes and transphobes like this pic.twitter.com/SSKh3KxEam
— beka (@babiezomb) January 25, 2023
Younger consumers praised the campaign’s inclusivity.
but i cant lie the new campaign is kinda cute… burberry said love is love ???? pic.twitter.com/MzlHg0rHGm
— beka (@babiezomb) January 25, 2023
Burberry remains trending amid young consumers. The brand’s “Her” fragrance continues to feature in viral videos on TikTok.
Celebrities continue to sport the brand at various events.
Cardi and offset Burberry night❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/bRhzpH5NMF
— BardierBitch (@Storm_Night23) January 20, 2023
Burberry has made several efforts to diversify their branding, and even support several LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations, including the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project focuses on suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
I was curious to know if Burberry actually supports LGBTQ or if they're merely trying to be trendy with their new ads. ????
Turns out, they donate to several LGBTQ groups, including the Trevor Project. I can't afford to be a customer of theirs, but they've earned my respect. pic.twitter.com/hEpgCZBnSy
— Renee ???????? ☮️ (@WildeRESISTER) January 25, 2023
Several high fashion houses have begun having transgender models walk in their shows and model in their campaigns in recent years. Actress and model Hunter Schafer, known for her role as Jules Vaughn in Euphoria, has walked the runway for Prada, Dior, Gucci, Calvin Klein, and countless others.
TikTok creator Dylan Mulvaney, known for her “days of girlhood” videos that document her transitioning journey, walked in New York Fashion Week in September.
Major fashion houses making strides to be more progressive is nothing new. Transgender bodies are slowly but surely receiving a media platform, and critics will simply have to get used to it. Burberry’s new campaign accomplishes its mission of depicting diverse representations of love ahead of Valentine’s Day. The underlining message is not one of hatred of traditional gender roles, but a reinforcement that all body types are worthy of love.