Meet Laila Naim, Burberry’s first Pakistani model

Meet five year-old Laila Naim, she loves Frozen, Taylor Swift and is the first Pakistan model that heritage brand Burberry have hired.

Oh and she’s SO cute.

Image via Burberry.

Image via Burberry.

Laila lives in London with her family, and according to her mother,

“She loves the camera and is a natural, at her first shoot the shoot’s creative director asked if she had been doing this for a long time! She was totally comfortable in front of the camera and Burberry team.”

The brand posted one of the campaign photos starring Laila and her equally adorable co-model wearing the iconic Burberry trench coats and so far the image has received more than 80 thousand likes – making it one of the most liked photos for Burberry.

Heritage #Burberry trench coats and check scarves for boys and girls

A photo posted by Burberry (@burberry) on

Laila has already starred in magazine spreads for the likes of Red magazine and Tatler.

The casting – and celebration of Laila – is a step in the right direction for diversity. And also for giving people, AKA the ones buying clothes, what they want.

As The Fashion Spot’s editorial director, Amina Akhtar, told Refinery 29,
“Seeing that Liu Wen is in the top 10 most-cast models, and more Asian models being cast, may be reflective of the growing power of the Chinese luxury market. But then, you also have India’s luxury market and customers in other countries who are not white who are being ignored. If you look at mass market brands which are using diverse casts — and doing well with their campaigns — the argument that the consumer wants a white model doesn’t really hold up anymore. I think consumers want good campaigns that are more inclusive. I don’t think we can blame the customers any longer.”

Last month, Burberry signed on their first ever Indian model, Neelam Johal.


Salma Hayak fronts fashion campaign

The biggest trend so far this year hasn’t been the return of the 70s (though expect a whole lot more bell-bottom in your wardrobes this year), but older women fronting luxury fashion campaigns.

Earlier this year Celine sent the internet into a frenzy by unveiling the new face of its spring 2015 collection, 80 year-old author and memoirist Joan Didion.


Didion, with her much imitated style, spare prose and effortless (and endlessly re-blogged) coolness is actually the perfect fit for the brand. Saint Laurent have collaborated with Joni Mitchell, 71, who alongside Bob Dylan is the ultimate representation of counter culture in the 1960s (and the best music to listen to when you feel sad). Karen Walker recruited the (80 years plus) and thoroughly excellent ladies of Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog for a recent eyewear campaign, and Julia Roberts, 47, has posed for Givenchy. Beauty campaigns have also joined in, with Nars hiring 68 year-old Charlotte Rampling and Marc Jacobs signing on American Horror actress Jessica Lange, 65.

Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent.

Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent.

This week Salma Hayak was announced as the new face of Pomellato, a Milanese jewellery company (once also fronted by Sofia Loren), which was acquired by the luxury-holding group run by her husband, Francois-Henri Pinault.

The celebration of older women is important, especially in a culture that so celebrates youth, rendering older women invisible. We need to see older women, we need diversity and beauty that is not a one size fits all. The problem with the ‘trend’ of using older women is that can be a novelty, or used for shock value, which then leads us back to where we started. What’s more, the women featured are still beautiful and famous women, but still, it is a start.

Karen Walker's recent eyewear campaign starring the ladies of the Advanced Style blog (and now documentary).

Karen Walker’s recent eyewear campaign starring the ladies of the Advanced Style blog (and now documentary).

Besides, a brand would ignore older women at its peril.

As Salma Hayak said of her (beautiful, sexy) campaign for Pomellato, women – and older women in particular – are a force, and a purse, to be reckoned with.

“Women working and being independent are now a financial force and this has given us a voice,” Hayek said at the launch of her campaign in Milan. “The fact is that now we are earning a place in society where we are not only decoration.”

And Hayak is adamant about this.

The rise of the older woman in fashion complements another trend in very famous women, speaking out for feminism.

In a recent interview with The Guardian Hayak had this to say in response to question of whether she was a feminist,

“I am a feminist because I love women and I am ready to fight for women. I am a feminist because I am proud to be a woman, and I am passionate about making the world a better place for women. I am a feminist because a lot of amazing women have made me the woman I am today. I am inspired by women every day, as friends and as colleagues.”

Fashion campaigns that make older women visible and celebrated do make the world better – and more stylish – for all women.

More please!