British model Claudia Lavender is Riccardo Tisci's new Burberry girl
All eyes were on London today after Riccardo Tisci presented his Burberry debut. While it's the clothes and accessories that will have the biggest impact on the company, other aspects will also contribute to what we understand to be Tisci's new vision for the house. One of the most important? The models cast.

Tisci's Burberry debut will be a career milestone for many of the models who walked the show - Kendall Jenner, Freja Beha Erichsen, Fran Summers, Mariacarla Boscono, Jourdan Dunn - but none more so than 20-year-old Claudia Lavender.

The British model topped the final and made her first major appearance on the catwalk, where she also showed off her brand new blonde hair color. Until now, she was a classic brunette English rose.

"I was a bit nervous to embrace the change, but I've always wanted to try blonde," she told Vogue before the show and after the hair change. "The team at Josh Wood were great - they really put me at ease. I absolutely love the color, it looks so natural and fresh, I might even keep it that way!

When she moved to London, Claudia was scouted by her parent agency, Scouting Firm, and has now signed with Next, which is her first job. "It all started when I met Adam Hindle, the casting director. He was so nice and we got on really well. We chatted about previous work and shows I'd done and he gave me some background on the Burberry show and how it would develop," she explained.

A meeting with Tisci followed shortly after. "He asked me a few questions about myself and that definitely helped me relax and ease the tension before I was asked to see my walk."

Lavendel's moment in the spotlight is partly due to her match with Hindle and Tisci's new Burberry wife, but as she explained, it was also her agents and her pre-show guidance that led to this moment on the catwalk.

"I think everyone is nervous - especially because the show is so big and everyone feels the pressure to do well. But it's also exciting. I just try not to think about it and focus on other things... (like lunch!)," she laughed.

Even though Lavender got into modeling by chance, it's clearly a career she wants to pursue now, with a collaboration with Burberry at the forefront of her mind.

"I love Burberry as a brand (and what I've seen of their new direction) and hope this leads to a closer collaboration with them. I didn't really have any expectations. So I'm just enjoying the madness and following my agents' lead.

Her approach to modeling and breaking into the fashion world is to keep a cool head. "I try to be positive about everything - as you shout into the day, so it rings out," she enthuses. "I'm lucky that I've always had great people around me who have guided me in the right direction, because I think good advice is priceless."

March 09, 2023