Thom Browne and ‘Belfast’ Star Jude Hill on the Whimsical Charm of Their New Childrenswear Campaign

In Thom Browne’s new childrenswear campaign, photographed by Cass Bird, a pair of youths exaggeratedly cower in mock fear as an enormous dachshund is poised to leap in their direction. In another image, they sit cross-legged beneath what are arguably fashion’s most famous pair of calves, here poking out between shorts cut from gray suiting fabric and a pair of socks pulled up almost to the knee, the left sock featuring the brand’s famous four-stripe sleeve motif. It’s surrealist, distinctly cinematic, and more than a little bit whimsical too—think Hansel and Gretel meets Gulliver’s Travels meets the visual non-sequiturs of Luis Buñuel and Man Ray, all put in a head-spinning, black-and-white blender. So far, so Thom Browne.

The campaign’s plot twist, however, comes courtesy of this year’s 11-year-old breakout star Jude Hill, whose performance in Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast has earned him rave reviews and a handful of best young actor gongs this awards season. Unsurprisingly, Hill is just as precocious, cheeky, and charming as he is on-screen in Belfast, talking mile-a-minute about the thrill of wearing Browne’s designs to the Oscars last month. “There’s just no word in the dictionary that can describe how much fun I had that night,” he says, grinning from ear to ear. “I just felt this jittery feeling, with so much adrenaline pumping—I had the time of my life.” It turns out Browne’s alchemical ability to blend rigorous tailoring with a sense of ease and comfort extends to his children’s pieces, too. “I love getting dressed up, especially in Thom Browne,” Hill adds. “That entire outfit was so comfy. I had to try and not fall asleep, it was that comfy!”

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