Burberry: Buy Off the Catwalk

The iconic British luxury brand Burberry, founded in 1857, has decided to move away from the traditional method of displaying collections seasonally. Instead they’ve allowed their customers to buy clothes straight off the catwalk.

Burberry flagship store in London

Burberry flagship store in London

Burberry as a brand are very forward thinking, embracing new technology and talent. Such as Burberry acoustic, a platform for emerging British talent including James Bay and the band Rhodes who have exclusively recorded tracks that are featured on the website. Burberry also host events such as ‘Live at 121 Regent Street’, which include live bands, and streams of their catwalks. In addition, Burberry have recently launched their Snapchat allowing fans access to catwalk preparation, messages from special guests, and photo-shoots like the one recently shot by Brooklyn Beckham.

Burberry 'London in Los Angeles' show

Burberry ‘London in Los Angeles’ show

Singer James Bay who recorded live for Burberry acoustics

Singer James Bay who recorded live for Burberry acoustics

In an interview with WWD, Christopher Bailey stated that “Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live-streams, to ordering straight from the runway, to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve”. Therefore, it is only natural that they would choose to mix up the way they present and sell their clothes in a way that allows the customer to be involved instantly. Bailey continued to say that “In fashion we talk about ‘a moment’, and what feels right for the moment. And I’ve always battled with that because the moment is when you’re showing it, but then you’ve got to kind of say is it the right moment five or six months down the line?”

Christopher Bailey - Chief Creative officer and chief executive officer of Burberry

Christopher Bailey – Chief Creative officer and chief executive officer of Burberry

Usually Burberry collections are available four months after they appear on the catwalk, however there is now the option to buy clothes straight off the catwalk. Both online and in store, where shop windows will display the collections immediately. This isn’t the only change they have decided to make; Burberry have reduced the amount of shows they will hold from 4 a year to 2. Moving away from the traditional seasonal approach they will also merge both the men’s and womenswear collections.

Women’s spring/summer collection 2016

Women’s spring/summer collection 2016

However, Burberry isn’t alone with Tom Ford deciding to join the fast fashion band-wagon, he will also present his collections in September. Chief critic for Vogue Sarah Mower said in regards to these changes “Currently there’s instant access to shows but constant deferral. If you can’t buy it immediately, you forget about it’. We have all experienced this, where you see a gorgeous item that you must have, however, its February and you have to wait till September onwards to buy it, by that time most of us have moved on and become obsessed over another item.

Men’s January 2016 Show

Men’s January 2016 Show

So, perhaps this is the new future for ready-to-wear and luxury brands! What are your opinions on Burberry’s decision and what do you think of Burberry as a brand?


Text: Tamera Heron

Photographs: Burberry, EW, Interview magazine – Craig Mcdean, Getty Images

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