Burberry Revolutionises Fashion Industry with Bold Move to Unify Runway & Retail Calendars | SENATUS

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Burberry Revolutionises Fashion Industry with Bold Move to Unify Runway & Retail Calendars

5 February 2016

By Kien Lee

According to an interview by Business of Fashion, Christopher Bailey has revealed that Burberry is set to embark on a game-changing move that will drastically alter the archaic approach to what we see in fashion weeks and when we get to buy them.

The Burberry CEO and Chief Creative Officer has announced that the upcoming September 2016 runway showcase will see firstly a combination of both its womens and menswear collections in one holistic showcase at London Fashion Week, and secondly the full collection will then immediately be available for purchase both online and in-store, supported by digital and print advertising campaigns that also launch as soon as the show ends.

It seems Burberry is set to revolutionise how the fashion industry works.

To make this all work and sync up, Burberry would have to push back the schedule of unveiling its designs, whilst bringing forward the production and supply chain, as well as its communications strategy.

Fashion weeks have long upheld its traditions of holding ready-to-wear presentations six months before the actual merchandise hits the stores. Understandably, this practice was put in place to allow fashion buyers to make their orders, fashion media to prepare their upcoming coverage, and to give manufacturers sufficient time to produce the goods.

However, with the advent of social media and the way it has facilitated the explosion of information, and the considerable investment made to publicise and stage fashion week shows from elaborate stage runways and grand stands to paid celebrity appearances, brands are grappling with how to best leverage the buzz that has been generated.

That, as well as the rise in instances of piracy of ideas —  6 months is more than ample time for a copycat to produce similar designs, call them its own, and put the stuff out for sale on the streets.

As Bailey puts it himself, "You create a lot of energy when you do the shows, and the broader these have become — whether it’s livestreaming, instagramming, or showing online...

You’re creating all this energy around something, and then you close the doors and say, ‘Forget about it now because it won’t be in the stores for five or six months.’ And then you’ve got to create that energy again."

We also learn that besides aligning the fashion shows with what is in the stores, the new Burberry collections will be "seasonless" and renamed "February" and "September" rather than Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter.

Fashion, as so it seems, is very much about the NOW.

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