Esteemed fashion professionals are criticising the move as disrespectful to photographers who spend years learning their craft and earning a reputation; adamant that if Brooklyn wasn’t born into the Beckham family, he wouldn’t have landed the role.
Brooklyn’s mother Victoria is a force in the fashion industry, recognised as one of the fashion elite, selling her designs worldwide and most recently showing at New York Fashion Week.
David Beckham, Brooklyn’s father and English soccer star revealed last November that his son “has a passion for photography”, so this new opportunity is a dream come true. However, others are not so delighted.
Fashion photographer Chris Floyd describes Burberry’s move as a “devaluation of photography”, and tells The Guardian that it “goes against everything his parents represent – willpower and graft – and their 16-year-old son comes along and it’s sheer nepotism. He hasn’t done it from hard work”.
The heavy, widespread criticisms all carry the same message, that talent, dedication and experience have been replaced for a family name.
Harsh comments on social media flooded in, “How insulting to people who have worked hard their whole lives to become a professional photographer”, “The rich look after the rich” and, “Privilege strikes again”.
Another Twitter user pulls even fewer punches, adamant that someone must have set up the camera and lighting and said: “Here you go Brooklyn, just point and press”.
Despite the backlash, the British fashion house’s decision is a great marketing tool. Brooklyn has almost six million followers on Instagram and commissioning him is a clever way of getting the younger generation interested in Burberry, Grazia photographer Jon Gorrigan admits.
Burberry’s creative director and CEO Christopher Bailey defends his decision.
“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 the spirit of this new fragrance campaign.”
Sarah Brimley, a photographer who until recently, worked with fashion photographer David Bailey, also defends Brooklyn.
“I don’t think he feels entitled and I don’t imagine he’s a spoilt brat. He hasn’t had to do the work the rest of us have to do but … he probably knows how lucky he is.”