Burberry’s chief creative/executive officer, Christopher Bailey, took huge steps in the way of consumer accessibility today with his announcement of future plans for the brand’s runway models. Beginning in September of this year, Burberry will show seasonless men’s and women’s collections together on the runway twice a year and make the collections immediately available online and in brick-and-mortar stores. To top it off, window displays in Burberry stores and media campaigns will swiftly change just as the last model makes his or her walk down the runway.
Bailey has made it his mission in seasons past to bridge the gap between high fashion and the consumer, with live-streams, straight-from-the-runway shopping, and live social media campaigns. His latest move comes at a time of transition for the traditional runway model and the fashion industry as a whole, with designers opting to show their collections in new cities, giving away tickets to runway presentations, or even forgoing a runway show altogether. Bailey explained his reasoning for the shift to WWD, saying, “We can’t expect a customer to understand our timings because, I mean, it’s silly, which is why we did runway made-to-order collections. You can’t talk to a customer and say, ‘We’re really excited, we’re going to stimulate you and inspire you, but you can’t touch it or feel it for another six months.’”
Burberry is perhaps the most high-profile designer label to make such a bold move, and predictions are being made that other brands will follow in its footsteps. British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush spoke in support of Bailey’s decision to WWD: “The BFC executive board has been talking for some time about fashion shows better connecting to consumers and being a direct driver for retail sales. Burberry is a truly innovative brand and this strategic move shows brilliant leadership from Christopher Bailey and his team in driving this agenda forward. A number of British brands will move to a similar model over the next few seasons.”
We’re anxious to see how Burberry’s efforts will affect the fashion industry and which brand will be next to shake up the traditional model.
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Opening Image: Getty Images