Burberry has recreated the opening scene of Billy Elliot for its Christmas advertising campaign. Starring an eye-popping celebrity cast – including Elton John, who wrote the music for the Billy Elliot stage show; and Julie Walters, who starred in the film adaptation – the Burberry homage marks the famous musical’s 15th anniversary, to the soundtrack of Cosmic Dancer by T Rex.
“Billy Elliot is an incredible film full of so much joy and energy, so it was a real thrill and a great honour to be able to celebrate its 15 year anniversary through our festive campaign,” Christopher Bailey, Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer, said tonight. “It was also a huge privilege to work with such amazing and iconic British talent – the cast are quite simply some of the biggest names in film, music and fashion and it was so much fun working with them all to make this special film.”
The film – which also stars models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, returning to Burberry for the fourth time since 2008, her brother Toby Huntington-Whiteley; and Naomi Campbell, also a former face of Burberry; musicans James Bay and George Ezra; presenter James Corden; actress Michelle Dockery; and Burberry favourite Romeo Beckham – will be premiered tomorrow evening at the brand’s global flagship store on Regent Street in London.
As well as showcasing Burberry’s festive offering – and delighting our eyes of course – the campaign has a philanthropic element as well. The original production of Billy Elliot established a legacy of charitable support for the local community of Easington, County Durham where the film is set. Inspired by this, Burberry is making a donation of £500,000 to be split between two charities, Place2Be and the County Durham Community Foundation, which have projects focusing on reducing barriers to education, training and employment in the local area. None of the stars who took part in the film were paid for their involvement, all choosing to donate their fee to the charities as well.