Burberry breaks the style calendar
Burberry has announced major changes to the way it shows and sells its collections – rejecting traditional fashion seasons, and cutting out the wait between customers seeing the clothes and being able to buy them.
Until now, Burberry has followed the conventional industry calendar, holding two menswear and two womenswear shows per year. But as of this autumn, the fashion house will hold just two shows in total, entitled February and September. The men’s and women’s collections will be shown together, with a cross-season range of lighter and warmer clothing regardless of the time of year – and the collections will be available to buy immediately.
Brands have experimented with this ‘shop from the catwalk’ idea before, but Burberry is the first to completely break the mould by rejecting the ‘S/S’ and ‘A/W’ seasons. “I’m trying to look at everything in the spirit of what it is, rather than what we have defined it as through our industry,” chief executive and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey told Business of Fashion. “It often felt slightly superficial to be talking about an Autumn/Winter collection, when it’s 90 degrees in a third of the shops we’re selling it in. We are a global company and the world is not one weather pattern.”
Since the rise of social media, blogs and streaming, catwalk shows have become as closely observed by shoppers as they are by press and buyers – and with this new development, Burberry is putting the emphasis firmly on the customers. It’s big news in the fashion industry – but there’s more to come, according to British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush: “A number of British brands will move to a similar model over the next few seasons.” Get ready for fashion to get a whole lot faster.