My name is Jamie Barnard, I am a twenty eight year old actor, musician, and now one-time model.
Let’s go back to the year 2012. I was working on a theatre project in Colchester and I stumbled across an independent shop selling menswear with influences from the mid-60s to mid-90s. It was in this shop that I bought my first item of Merc clothing. It was a burgundy V-neck jumper with a yellow Merc emblem and from that moment Merc very quickly became my favourite clothing brand.
So back to 2018, I entered an online competition to win one of the brands well known and well-loved Harrington jackets (I already owned two) but to my disappointment I did not win. The battle may have been lost but the war was about to be won; a few weeks later as I was leaving a rather underwhelming audition I received a direct message on my Instagram page. My day immediately got a whole lot better. The message was asking if I would be interested in being a part of the Merc spring / summer campaign. I never really considered myself as a model but to be asked to be a part of a campaign for a brand that I truly admire and believe in was a huge privilege and an opportunity I could not turn down.
I was invited to go to the office to meet with the lovely Soraya and the incredibly talented Tony Briggs. Here, I was shown the brilliant new line of clothing and learnt about the background of the company and Tony’s very impressive career. One thing I love about the brand is its authenticity and I left the meeting feeling very inspired and even more privileged to be a part of the new campaign.
The date was set for the 6th of December 2018 at the famous Holborn studios. As I made my way to the studio I was filled with anticipation, excitement and nerves. As I arrived I was directed to room four which was festively decorated with mistletoe. I entered the studio and was greeted by Phil and Abhay and of course photographer extraordinaire Tony Briggs. Immediately I was made to feel very welcome and my apprehension began to fade. I was then introduced to Wez who was Tony’s assistant on the day and Simon who was the Digi Operator. There were two other models on this shoot, the very handsome Josh McGee and the stunning Kimberly McBeath. This was possibly what I was most nervous about; looking like a complete amateur next to these seasoned professionals. After having my hair and make-up done by the fantastic Amber Childs and changing into my first outfit of the day, it was my turn to step in front of the lens.
I’ll admit, it took me a while to ease into, but Tony was very encouraging and supportive and after a few outfit changes I was completely immersed in the experience and loving every minute. The entire team were incredibly efficient; the day seemed to run like clockwork and before I knew it we had wrapped.
During the day, I got to wear some really stunning items that will for sure be added to my collection once released. If you couldn’t already tell I am a huge fan of this brand. The quality and durability of the products is unbelievable. One of my favourite items of clothing I got to wear on the day is the Shield jacket which comes in two colours; stone, and bright blue. I also loved the new Craig jacket and not forgetting the very comfortable Shelton-sweat. With this being said I don’t think anything could replace my favourite item of Merc clothing…yes you’ve guessed it, the classic Harrington jacket. Being able to wear this for the shoot was my highlight of the day. I wish I could own this jacket in every colour.
So they are my top picks to name but a few. The new spring/summer collection really is fantastic and there is something for everyone. I had a wonderful day working on this shoot, I learned a lot and met some truly remarkable people and am incredibly grateful to Soraya for the opportunity. This experience has only made me care for the brand that much more.