By Francis Nicholson
Burberry, a publicly-listed corporation with a 2.3 billion dollar turn over has just paid some people, who already have millions of dollars, even more money to add to their fortune in order to promote a line of clothing and all get richer together. With the appropriate fake smiles and pretend wackiness, Burberry has assembled and all-star cast of models, actors, singers, comedians, and anyone famous who’s willing to be a well-dressed corporate shill for a few bucks. Using the occasion of the anniversary of the movie Billy Elliot, Burberry taps into a vein of popular culture and tie that into their brand. As if their line of clothing has relevance to a working class child with ambitions to become a world-class ballet dancer.
Elton John, who appears in the shoot and whose net worth is 330 million dollars, is never too coy about adding even more dosh to his colossal fortune and happy to pretend this is about fashion’s autumn season. In reality it’s just about fame-whore greedy celebrities and greedy, sociopathic corporations scratching each other backs for mutual benefit. For someone having his picture taken a few times, Elton John probably got paid what it takes someone on a minimum wage a year to earn. He probably tells himself that’s somehow fair.
Burberry is great at what they do: extracting people’s hard-earned money to buy clothes for inflated prices and huge profit margins because of the imaginary value these kind of celebrities create. That’s called a “brand.” In reality, they sell garments and accessories that come from the plundering of third-world resources and the unapologetic use of sweatshop labour to ensure massive profits. None of the sweatshop workers toiling away from $1.50 a day were asked feature in this promotion. Their lack of wackiness, poor dental work and non-millionaire celebrity status ruled them out.
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