Meet Burberry’s New Muse: Marika Hackman

Marika Hackman Burberry Eyewear Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign
Photo courtesy of Burberry
Marika Hackman in Burberry’s Eyewear Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign.

It’s pretty safe to say that Burberry is on the forefront of everything, from technology—hello, live-streaming shows and digital rainstorms!—to music to, well, fashion. So when the brand hand-picked four British musicians to star in its new eyewear campaign, we paid attention.

Thursday night in New York, one of those chosen, Marika Hackman, played a live show in Burberry’s Soho store. The delightfully down-to-earth Brit (on her first trip to America!) chatted with FashionEtc about her humble beginnings, her big break, and how incredibly surreal it is to see your blown-up face in a Burberry window.

How did this all come about?

I went to school with Cara Delevingne, and we were actually in a band together when we were, like, 13. She showed a video I had done on YouTube to some people at Burberry, and it kind of just worked its way up, and it was when they were just casting for the eyewear campaign. It’s so exciting. I didn’t even believe it was happening, even on the day of the shoot. It was so strange. Even now, it’s so surreal. I’m about to play in a Burberry store in New York! Before I came to New York I hadn’t seen any of the pictures in the windows—they’re up in London but I hadn’t seen them yet. It’s so strange. That’s my face, blown up! It’s been a crazy roller coaster.

How would you describe your sound?

It’s quite hard for me to define it. But I’ve been told there’s a haunting, slightly wistful sound to it. I love those songs that you almost don’t want to listen to because they make you feel a certain way that you don’t really want to feel—but you can’t stop listening to then. I like writing songs like that.

What inspires you when you’re writing music?

There’ve been musicians that inspire me, like Laura Veirs. She’s amazing. And recently, stuff like Warpaint. It moves across from folky to something a bit darker. I also get a lot of inspiration from living in the countryside. I’ve been surrounded by trees and things, and you can kind of hear it in my songs.

Marika Hackman

Photo courtesy of Burberry

Marika Hackman performing a live show in Burberry’s Soho store.

What does Burberry mean to you?

It’s such a quintessentially British brand, and I think it’s so great that they’re finding emerging talent and showcasing it. It’s amazing that they’re doing that. And it kind of works both ways—obviously they’re really helping me out, but then the more successful I get, it can work its way back again. I think that’s really, really nice. It’s a good, British brand.

Are you ready to be a breakout star in the States?

[Laughs] Well, if it happens, I guess I’ll have to be!

Do you keep in touch with Cara?

I haven’t seen her in a while, but we’ve been talking on the phone and stuff. I can’t wait to see her tonight.

Who did what in your band?

She played the guitar and sang, and I played the bass and the drums.

What was the band called?

We never actually came up with a name! We said to the whole school, ‘We’ll give you 10 pounds if you can come up with a name,’ and no one did. I think we were Mission Paris for a while, and The Clementines. I think we still have a Bebo profile! It was one of those 13-year-old bands, like, ‘Woo! We’re in a band!’ Then things kind of…dispersed. [Laughs]

So this new gig must come with some serious perks.

My wardrobe was pretty barren until about two months ago, and now it’s like, whoa.