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The new face of Burberry: Downton’s Lily James as you’ve never seen her before

Lily James Burberry main image.jpg

Former Downtown Abbey actress, Lily James, has just been named the new face of Burberry. 

The announcement came alongside the release of the iconic British brand's new My Burberry Black fragrance and will see James join the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Cara Delevigne and Kate Moss in her first global advertising campaign. 

Lily James

© Copyright Burberry

Smoothly transitioning from bringing Lady Rose to life in Julian Fellowes’ hit period drama, the 27-year-old’s latest role sees her emulate timeless elegance for the signature Burberry fragrance, in a campaign that aims to conjure up images of an “idyllic London garden amidst a gathering storm”.

Lily James

Mario Testino and Christopher Bailey shooting the campaign © Copyright Burberry

The smouldering campaign, shot by Mario Testino sees the actress-turned-model pose in an iconic Burberry trench.

“There was a certain persona that I was embracing,” James explained. “The world of My Burberry Black is a world of sensuality and the woman who wears it is very confident in her own skin.” 

Lily James in the New My Burberry Black fragrance campaign

© Copyright Burberry

Revealing how the campaign was different to her previous roles, James added, “it didn’t feel like I was having to act, it just felt like different parts of myself that were kind of being pushed forward.”

Though being the face of an international campaign is new to the star, the accompanying short film, set to the dulcet tones of I Put a Spell on You, was more within her comfort zone. “It was similar [to acting] really,” she explained, “except I was working alongside Mario Testino and Christopher Bailey”. 

Main image credit: © Copyright Burberry/Mario Testino

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