Burberry Artistic Director Christopher Bailey has achieved the rare feat of doing something commercial and eminently sensible while simultaneously being creative: by making next seasons collection available to order as it was being shown he blew up decades of fashion’s perceived ‘wisdom’ (that the more unavailable and difficult to acquire a piece is, the more desirable it will be) and yet this move has been universally applauded by fashion mavens the world over! No wonder Burberry’s turnover has gone from £1bn to £2.6bn with a turnover of £1.2bn since Bailey’s arrival 10 years ago – a global brand selling a sophisticated and very British style to an international luxury market.

By screening the catwalk show live he enabled viewers all over the world to see the show as it was taking place. Obviously nothing can replace the excitement of being present at a show (especially if you’ve been queuing in the freezing February weather in your best fashion forward heels…the sheer relief of sinking into a chair. Priceless), but judging by the tweets, people very much enjoyed and felt part of this event. By making the collection available to order online (albeit for 3 days only) with an expected delivery time of 6-8 weeks, Bailey devised a sure-fire way of measuring how successful this move was. Sales figures haven’t been released yet but considering the collection being every bit as beautiful and desirable as you’d expect, I predict it was a huge success. When I contacted Burberry HQ to find out if they intend to repeat this for S/S11, I was told future plans are under wraps for now. It is interesting to see that Burberry  feel secure enough to venture into something so commercial. Clearly by now they have moved away from the brief association with ‘chav’ stereotyping Burberry‘s image suffered in 2004-5 when the brand chose to limit its trademark check to discreet accents on clothing in order to halt a perceived ‘prole drift’.


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