LONDON – Burberry has a new attitude and plans to make it known with a series of citywide acquisitions in the coming months, starting with London Fashion Week, which begins on Friday.
After London, the brand’s new blue Equestrian Knight will gallop to Seoul and Shanghai – and later New York – next month as part of an initiative called Burberry Streets, a series of immersive experiences, installations and events.
Burberry Streets aims to draw attention to the fall collections; the brand’s British heritage and signature designs, which include the famous check in a new shade of cobalt blue; the English rose print and the leaping cavalry knight.
In London, the brand has teamed up with Norman’s, the north London cafe known for its British dishes such as fried eggs, English muffins, breaded fish and brown gravy. This week the cafe will be decorated in Burberry’s blue check pattern, with a special event planned for Wednesday.
During London Fashion Week, a traveling food truck from Norman’s will park at The Strand in central London and Duke of York Square on the King’s Road, serving snacks to showgoers and the public.
Norman’s food is just the beginning. Flags with Burberry’s new rose print will be flown over Bond Street, while videos of the brand’s fall 2023 campaign will be shown on the mega screens at Piccadilly Circus.
Photographed by Tyrone Lebon, the campaign features images of models sporting key looks from Lee’s debut collection on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Additionally, the Equestrian Knight will be painted in chalk on London’s streets, paths and parks, while black taxis will be draped in Lee’s new English Rose print.
Burberry Streets coincides with the launch of Lee’s first autumn collection in stores and fits in with the revamp of Burberry’s e-commerce website.
The brand said it wanted to make it fun for people to explore, and in fact the site is brighter, more playful and easier to navigate. It’s also simpler, with clearly defined product categories and separate sections highlighting new designs, different product categories and archive styles.
It has an editorial feel with oversized magazine-style covers, videos, and a section dedicated to beauty and fragrances. The latter features Mario Sorrenti’s shots of Emma Mackey in the new campaign for the Burberry Goddess Eau de Parfum, which comes in a refillable bottle.
The website also features video interviews with TSHA and Shygirl, who wrote and performed the campaign song “Goddess.”
Throughout the rest of the site, products come to life with animated checkered patterns or shift into different positions when the viewer hovers over an image. It is possible to view shoes and boots from different angles – even the soles.
Burberry has also tried to be more transparent and offer detailed fabric and care information so customers can make “more informed decisions” when purchasing, the company said.
The website has been optimized for mobile devices and features three new layouts. Burberry said it would continue to evolve and introduce new features and experiences in the coming months.
Giorgio Belloli, chief digital, customer and innovation officer, described the experience as “intuitive” with enhanced functionality and a “visually rich aesthetic.”
The website redesign is the latest development under new CEO Jonathan Akeroyd and Chief Creative Officer Lee, who both joined Burberry in 2022.
Akeroyd reportedly laid out his strategy during a presentation to analysts last November. He said he wanted the brand to be “desirable and likeable,” with product at its core, a renewed focus on “femininity,” and the Focus on underdeveloped categories such as shoes.
Akeroyd’s ambitions are to grow Burberry’s sales to £5bn in the long term, driven by a much larger accessories business.
Lee joined last September and his first collection hit stores earlier this week – at luxury prices.
Lee’s cheapest women’s handbag starts at £1,990 for a leather rose clutch, while most bags cost between £2,000 and £2,890.
There’s also a faux fur clutch made from cotton, polyurethane and acrylic, which retails for £3,590 and is only available to pre-order.
Other items from Lee’s first Burberry collection include a pair of stud earrings, £290; a wool duck hat costing £2,990 and a feather stretch viscose dress made in Italy costing £50,000.
Many of these items are on display at Burberry’s newly opened flagship on New Bond Street. The store’s focus is on the upscale clientele as well as luxurious interiors and services that rival those of a five-star hotel.
The store, located in one of the world’s most fashionable shopping destinations, has been renovated over the past two years and reflects a more modern and minimalist design concept that Burberry introduced at its Knightsbridge store in 2021.
In keeping with Akeroyd’s ambitions, the store concept has evolved to include a greater focus on accessories and a new approach to color and branding from Lee, who made his runway debut for the brand in February.
The look of the New Bond Street store also reflects its chic Mayfair location and the high-end customers that Burberry, like so many luxury brands and retailers, has acquired in recent years.
“It’s Burberry’s anchor store and a destination, and because of the location the focus is really on height, service and luxury,” Akeroyd said during a tour in June.
He described the store as a place to accommodate customers, adding that the company will increasingly focus on developing “our elite customer base, which has really grown significantly over the last year or so.”
The store spans nearly 22,000 square feet across three floors and Akeroyd described it as a showcase for British luxury.
The space is bright, with a large, open floor space and furnishings designed to highlight the clothing and accessories. The design is understated and the star of the show is the merchandise.
There are white walls with matching floors, occasionally interrupted by glossy Art Deco-style checkerboard tiles.
Flashes of color and texture appear throughout the space in the form of thick chairs or swirling rugs covered in intense cobalt blue, Burberry’s new color. A soft bouclé sofa invites you to linger, while gold-colored fittings add a further touch of Art Deco.
Sculptural wooden furniture scattered throughout the room adds a mid-century modern touch.
https://wwd.com/business-news/business-features/burberrys-prepares-paint-town-blue-during-london-fashion-week-1235793314/ Burberry prepares to turn the city blue during London Fashion Week – WWD