It’s been a year of emptiness, loneliness and loss.
We’re longing for the return of the world we once knew; of days out with friends, holidays with family and get togethers with colleagues. Some days we wonder if it will ever return. We miss the interaction, the variety and the entertainment that can only come by being together. Whilst we vividly understand why it’s necessary, it doesn’t stop the desperation that comes from isolation.
Londoners will forever be haunted by the scenes of our empty streets during the great pandemic of 2020. Our busy landmarks once teaming with visitors have been brought to a standstill, standing vacant, empty and unappreciated. Local businesses, performers and city workers furloughed at home, waiting in desperation for a return to normal.
Today, we’re all dressed up but have nowhere to go … but tomorrow, we know we’ll be reunited with friends and family. We know we’ll experience the world with a new sense of wonder - cherishing the many things we once took for granted.
Our final campaign for AW20 explores this contrast of hope and despair in the coldest days of winter on the empty streets of London’s West End. We’ve used photographs taken between March 2020 and January 2021 to explore a unique emptiness never before seen. An emptiness that may never be seen again.
As we gazed upon these empty scenes, we realised that all cities are made by their people. Cities are made special by the hustle and bustle, the energy and animation of those who live, work and visit. We’d like to dedicate this campaign to the performers of London, many of whom haven’t seen a live audience in almost a year. It’s their passion, creativity and inspiration we’ll need to recover when this is all over.
For now, we’re all dressed up but have nowhere to go …