Country Road has launched its new spring campaign, ‘Regeneration,’ fronted by heroes from fire-affected communities left devastated by the bushfires last summer.
A fire captain who helped save homes; a volunteer who made meals; and traditional land owner are the new faces of the fashion label’s 2020 campaign.
It was shot over two days in Glen Alice, a small community at the base of the Blue Mountains in the Capertee Valley, three hours west of Sydney.
Seven months later, green shoots are starting to reappear from blackened tree trunks and fauna is starting to return to the area.
Country Road MD Elle Roseby said the brand was proud to shine a light on fire-affected areas.
"It provides a sense of moving forward, of growth – and that’s exactly what you see from the people of Glen Alice, and no doubt, other fire- affected, communities,” Roseby said.
"The incredible stories that are told in this year’s campaign – quite simply couldn’t have been told without the people at the heart of them."
Country Road creative director Kai Tunley said the spring collection focuses on and celebrates natural fibres and he said the brand thought it was the perfect backdrop to tell this story.
“We really wanted to tell an authentic story of a community recovering and banding together after the bushfires. The Australian spirit is something we wanted to convey with this campaign, as this is something our brand has always aimed to represent,” Tunley said.
Tunley also said the successful shoot was the way forward for Country Road.
“It’s important to use our brand to tell real stories with real people.
"Ultimately, we still use fashion models but for campaigns like this, where the focus is our land and our people, in order to tell the story authentically, we need to have the two running parallel,” he said.
Steve Dalli, who is the captain of the Capertee Fire Brigade, is normally seen wearing firefighting overalls rather than sweats and shirts.
But he said he enjoyed the opportunity to partake in the fashion shoot.
“Being a firefighter during recent times has been particularly stressful.
"After 2.5 years of drought and the bushfires, to now see the trees and local bushland slowly coming back to life is absolutely fantastic – and seeing our community’s story at the forefront of the Country Road campaign for the world to see is quite an honour."
Local farmer and mother of four Terrie Wallace admitted she was nervous about the shoot.
During the fires, she led a group of volunteers to help cook meals for RFS firefighters and wash fire trucks.
Wallace said she's proud of the campaign highlighting her hometown coming together.
"I was blown away with how Country Road has developed our story – and how they’ve used real people and their clothes to showcase how fabulous our community is.
"As a teenager, my first pay check bought me a Country Road jumper – I never thought I’d be asked to participate in anything quite like this," Wallace said.
Traditional land owner and renowned artist Peter Swain also features in the campaign and talks of the importance of regeneration.
"The land itself is healing after the fires. Regeneration is about us as people engaging with the land and the animals in a way again that we are equals and that we are growing together. We must put magic back into the land."
Ironically, Peter's partner, Jo, was a Country Road model back in the early 1980s.
Although he said she didn't give him any tips ahead of the shoot, he said he was looking forward to travelling to the city to see the campaign in store.
‘Regeneration’ will be bought to market using a complementary mix of online and offline channels, including email, social media, search, mobile app and out of home advertising.