Almost 400,000 children in the UK do not own a book. This is a damning statistic considering that reading for pleasure has more impact on life success than socioeconomic background and is more important for a child’s cognitive development than a child’s education level. his parents. Knowing this, Burberry and Marcus Rashford (Dazed star, footballer, campaigner against poverty and envy of all mothers across the country) pledged to help underprivileged children get started with books.
Today, Burberry announced it will pay to establish libraries in 10 underfunded schools in Manchester, Yorkshire and London, donating 8,000 books and providing training to 200 other teachers across the country. On top of that, all 10 schools will participate in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, a program created by Rashford and Macmillan Children’s Books earlier this year – all of which will benefit more than 3,500 children in total. “These kids need a break from reading more than most, and access to books shouldn’t be limited by the area you grow up in. Coming out of the pandemic, there was a huge need for safe spaces – a space where children could come and breathe; process their feelings. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished here, ”said Rashford.
Something of a Christmas tradition – last year the footballer returned to his former youth club with the fashion house, donating to global children’s charities – Burberry captured his goodwill with a series of images taken by Campbell Addy, editor-in-chief of Dazed IB Kamara, and makeup artist Isayama Ffrench. Against the backdrop of huge blank pages, the trio transformed kids into fantastic dinosaurs, doctors, fashionistas and superheroes. “The creation was led by the children,” says Kamara, “we worked with them to achieve what they envisioned for themselves. They were so confident, smart and they were very detailed on what they wanted, which I loved. It’s so beautiful to see how ambitious and exciting their ideas were.
Although Kamara considered himself a doctor when he was little, it was the Postman Pat who he first felt an affinity with – “I thought he was so cool!” Ffrench, on the other hand, was a little more outrageous in his tastes. “The distant magic tree by Enid Blyton and the Goose bumps RL Stine’s series were my favorite books as a kid, ”she says, after spending the shoot painting fangs on seven-year-olds while making cardboard stethoscopes, space helmets and suitcases. “It’s a bit of a change from lipstick and eyeliner!” It was totally refreshing to let go, think quickly and create things with what we had on hand. Working like this is very rare in the beauty industry, where everything has to be impeccable most of the time, so it was liberating to create looks big, colorful and childish ”.
The model children, who all participate in programs run by the National Literacy Trust, steal Ffrench and Kamara’s thunder. “They are not shy at this age, which is a joy to see,” says Ffrench. “In fact, the first thing they told us was that they were having the best day of their lives – even if they had to come to their school during the holidays.”
Browse the gallery above to see what Kamara, Ffrench and Campbell have created, and head over to Burberry to learn more about its festive fundraising.