Irina Shayk has starred in ads for Intimissimi, The Kooples, Versace, Bally’s and countless other high-end fashion brands, but her latest campaign is one of her most sentimental yet.
The 33-year-old just landed a new fashion spot for Burberry, the design house’s first under its new Creative Director, Riccardo Tisci, and opens up to PEOPLE about what it was like being on set with Tisci, someone she considers to be a close friend.
“Riccardo was the first designer who booked me for a high fashion runway show many years ago,” Shayk tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I just couldn’t get over how cool, funny, and down to earth he was. We instantly became friends.”
So the fact that he tapped her to star in his first major campaign for the British fashion house means a lot to Shayk. “Being a part of Burberry now and working with Riccardo again is really like hanging out on set with a friend,” she explains. “I’ve never seen Riccardo so relaxed and happy, he was just like a fish swimming in its element.”
The campaign was shot by six different photographers, including Nick Knight, Danko Steiner, Hugo Comte, Colin Dodgson, Peter Langer and Letty Schmiterlow, who brought their own contrasting visions to the final images, which Shayk calls “iconic, classy, and sophisticated.”
In addition to Shayk, there was a multigenerational cast of models including Stella Tennant, Natalia Vodianova among others who model clothes from the Spring 2019 collection, which was inspired by the traditional styles from “the heart of the United Kingdom, from the punk and rebellious, to the formal and refined.”
“They are images that have the confidence to stand on their own, but it’s when they are assembled together that they truly bring the diversity, the eclecticism, the inclusivity and the beauty of Burberry to life,” Tisci said in a statement.
“I was thinking a lot about journeys as I started putting together my first Burberry collection,” Tisci explained. “From my personal journey back to London 20 years after I showed my graduate collection here, to how far I have come. I was also inspired by how much London – the city that made me dream to become a designer – has evolved. This show is a celebration of the cultures, the traditions and the codes of this historic fashion house and of the eclecticism that makes up the beautifully diverse United Kingdom.”
The supermodel shared a photo of the campaign on Instagram with the same sweet sentiment. “Honored to be a part of it with my brother @riccardotisci17 ?? Ricky you have been with me since day 1 on this fashion journey, and your loyalty and love speaks for itself.. love you forever.”
Last December, Shayk shared a photo with Tisci in matching Burberry tracksuits at what may have been behind the scenes at the photoshoot for the campaign. In the comments she wrote, “LOVE at first sight ❤️”
Tisci commented with three heart emojis.
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