Is 10-year-old Romeo Beckham’s modelling debut justifiable?

The biggest story from the fashion world this week came by way of wealthy and well-known 10-year-old. Yes, 10.

Romeo Brooklyn’s saccharine sweet schoolboy, (real schoolboy, might we add) looks were out in full force before the Burberry lens, as he made his modelling debut in the brand’s spring/summer 2013 ad campaign.

Let’s just take a step back and look at the wider picture: Romeo is 10, and probably spends most of his days (when not at school) winding up his siblings, dismantling toy figurines and probably eating his own bodyweight in sweets. Now, let’s reassess: Romeo BECKHAM is the part of the need-no-introduction Beckham clan. His father is a world-class football player, and evidently the hottest man pacing the green fields of football stadiums. His mother, a fantastic designer, is a smile-phobe with a penchant for understated luxury and possibly the cutest 18-month-old hanging from her arm.

So there you have it. Romeo, who looks super-cute in the Burberry campaign, mind, looked every inch the model child along with the competition threatening to outdo him: Edie Campbell and Charlie France. With his cheeky personality, deep-set eyes and lightly tanned skin looking not an inch out of place in a high fashion campaign, and a look that channels a child Humphrey Bogart in ‘Casablanca’, the middle Beckham was dubbed a “joy to work with” by Burberry’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey. But praise and appealing aesthetics aside, his debut as a child model for an iconic British brand has kick-started the age debate once again.

We’ve seen it before;  from the outright provocative to models’ children taking their first strides into the frightening world their mothers graced before them – Cindy Crawford’s 10-year-old daughter Kaia modelling for Versace being a case in point. But the Beckham’s, too, are well versed in the modelling world; David Beckham is famed for his smouldering, money-spinning ad campaigns, whilst Victoria, along with being an international style star, is heavily involved in the fashion industry.

But are these connections, together with Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman pledging not to feature Romeo in the style tome until he reaches the legally acceptable age of 16 enough to deter under-age comments and justify Romeo’s appearance for Burberry?

It is a point of concern, when judging this in light of his parents’ careers and the privileged background this child innocently comes from.

Although probably a naïve point to consider, but having famous parents as a justification for fulfilling a premature modelling career would only add fuel to the underage modelling fire, if not further encourage children from secure and influential backgrounds to follow suit, After all, what’s really needed is a congregation of mini superpowers to start a trend and commission work from those falling victim to their whims. Just take one look at Suri Cruise’s custom-made wardrobe, and you’ll soon realise the power these youngsters wield.

Here’s to hoping we don’t see Romeo’s infectious smile and perfected dress sense (he was voted 25th in GQ’s 2011 best dressed list) in any more modelling campaigns until he hits sweet 16, and after that, we really don’t mind if he permanently replaces his dad.

What do you make of Romeo’s modelling debut aged 10? Share your thoughts below!

One Comment

  1. I see no need for his appearance in the SS13 campaign to be justifiable…they have a childrenswear range. He is a child. He’s modelling the clothes. The End.

    There is no controversy that surrounds this because at the end of the day the brand aren’t endorsing anything other than the playful nature of the clothes and the clothes themselves. There is no taboo or controversial, highly suggestive undertones because its not necessary for headlines or exposure. The beautiful pictures do that for you, shot by the legendary Mario Testino. I wonder how different it would be though if it were a girl in the campaign?

    Regardless, It’s a testament to Burberry and their keen niche for branding that they let the clothes and artwork do the talking. Well done on yet another cool campaign :)

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