Burberry becomes first designer label to release single

West Sussex band the Feeling record version of their song Rosé for new perfume called Body

From Vivienne Westwood and punk to Kanye West taking a designer role on the Paris catwalks, music and fashion are never far apart in popular culture.

But now Burberry, the British fashion powerhouse, has taken the relationship to a new level by becoming the first designer label to release a single.

Christopher Bailey, the brand's chief creative officer, has teamed up with West Sussex band the Feeling to record a version of their song Rosé, featuring a new string arrangement.

The song will soundtrack the advertising campaign for the new Burberry perfume, Body, which will appear on television before Christmas.

As well as being responsible for the design of all Burberry collections and products, Bailey, a softly-spoken Yorkshireman, has taken on front-of-house duties in a social media strategy to turn Burberry into a luxury lifestyle brand.

It now boasts 8.6 million "friends" on Facebook and 550,000 followers on Twitter, with Bailey posting personal messages on both.

Bailey's panoramic method of communicating mood and image – key to selling fashion – has always included music. The notes given out at his catwalk shows list the songs on the soundtrack alongside the fabrics used to make the garments, and Bailey posts his own "music Monday" song recommendations via Twitter.

Burberry's hope is that by promoting this association between a song and a fragrance, the scent will connect with an audience who cannot, in an era of dwindling magazine readership, be reached via the traditional "sniff-strips".

Dan Gillespie Sells, front man of the Feeling and pictured above recording the song, has previously appeared in a Burberry shoot. He told Music Week that Burberry "have a great connection with music, so this feels like a bona fide artistic endeavour. Christopher liked my original piano vocal version the best, but I wanted to do something special with it so we went to Abbey Road and recorded it with strings.

"I've kept it very simple but the strings give it a feeling of refinement and also heighten the emotions in the song."

Bailey, who worked with the band on the new arrangement of the song, believes the song "reflects the sensuality and attitude of the fragrance". The lyrics of the song refer to a fondness for rosé wine; the similarity with the name of model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley the face of the fragrance, is nothing more than a happy accident.

While Burberry hopes that the song will sell bottles of perfume, the band are also likely to benefit in sales from the exposure a major television advertising campaign will bring.


Jess Cartner-Morley

The GuardianTramp

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