Friday, 12 August 2016

Masterclass | Burberry (Christopher Bailey)

'Masterclass' is the ultimate synthesis of creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship in fashion. These designers have transformed houses under their direction and thereby produced amazing results in products, branding and success.

Mr Christopher Bailey is a powerhouse in branding in his revolutionary approach to Burberry. Burberry has been revamped in the latter part of the 2000s to the iconic British luxury it represents today. Under his direction, the house relinquished negative associations garnered from the mid 2000s and began targeting a new group of consumers - those in their 20s with an attractive amount of upcoming disposable income. To do so, Burberry had to look back at what brought its iconic trench coat to the fashion hall of fame - and it was to bring trenches to popular celebrities and models. Modern, trendy and iconic faces of fashion like Cara Delevigne and Eddie Redmayne helped update this house and bring it to terms with its new target market.

It's not just that. Burberry has approached this through various avenues. By keeping up with technology, Burberry is transporting its heritage and tradition into the 21st Century. The house is an early adopter of technology and successfully married this with fashion retail. Since 2011, clients are able to pre-order the runway collections during the shows on an iPad. Further, the label also introduced customisation for its trenches in around the same time. This idea of interaction and customisation is made possible and viable only through technology. The processes of customisation in fabrics and other additions would be too cumbersome if it wasn't for its online store. More recently, Burberry also introduced monogramming which on trend with the current desire of customisation and to say something is really 'yours'.

In fashion, it's always about bringing something new to the table. But for a brand with a history to boast, it is more than that, it is about bring something new that sustains its heritage. This is exactly what Burberry has done with its campaigns and approach to trench coats.

Cara Delevigne + Kate Moss. This visual perfectly encapsulates the essence of this post. What better way to transcend time but with arguably two of the most iconic faces in fashion today. The relatively newcomer Cara is paired with the most recognisable model ever Kate Moss in this quintessentially British brand. This dichotomy of contemporary and nostalgia is instantly captivating.
I always learnt at business school that one way to stop counterfeit and retain customer base is to build on brand heritage and history. Really push for this to show that it is something irreplaceable.
That heritage is transformative too, to something new and exciting.
That the timeless trench coat (and therefore, the Burberry brand) is able to truly transcend time.

In its campaigns Burberry is also pushing for a more diversified portfolio, pushing out strong pieces and advertising for lines other than its heritage trench. Because a business can't just have 1 product. The brand has associated itself with the most iconic celebrities in their target group of 20 somethings by having Cara and Eddie, and even Romeo Beckham on many of its principle campaigns.



Design and Trench Updates
Season after season we see the trench updated with different materials, textures, prints and themes. In its appeal to a younger audience, the use of quirky polka dots was a massive success. Further, additions to the cutting of the traditional trench coat in slimmer silhouettes updates the baggy coat into a modern wardrobe staple. Currently there are four fits in the heritage line: the Westminster (most generous), Kensington (modern tailored fit), Sandringham (slim) and the new Chelsea (another slim cut).
Other notable updates include the use of lace even for men's trenches, making an iconic statement in creativity for a seasonal look. Overall, the highlights in recent design history incorporates loud prints, innovative materials and trendy colours.



I have to say, the identification of and effective appeal to their new market has paid off big time, revitalising the brand by giving it a new life and energy with a younger audience. This transitioned a house that was falling off the radar to one of the most respected brands in fashion even today.

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