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Burberry: How Christopher Bailey rescued the brand with the chequered past

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Burberry’s antique check out print was showcased at the London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 18 expose.

Christopher Bailey joined Burberry once more in 2001, at a time when it was tainted with an uncongenial image, profits had been falling and magnificence fans had been turning elsewhere for their latest restore.

He has been credited for completely transforming Burberry by the use of show-stopping catwalk collections which might be available for purchase straight away off the runway.

Bailey has moreover drawn on the brand’s British heritage, championing the UK’s biggest models and musicians at Fashion Week and drawing the international’s biggest names to revel in it all on the front row.

As the Yorkshire-born designer pronounces his departure from the company, we look once more at the legacy he’s left for the major British taste brand.


Who could have predicted that one paparazzi shot might simply single-handedly ship down a huge sumptuous label?

Well this is exactly what came about in 2002, when actress Danniella Westbrook was photographed dressed head to toe in Burberry, with her daughter in an equivalent outfit.

Fashion designer Alex Eagle tells the BBC that this was “the pivotal 2nd when the trust of the brand needed to trade.

“The print were too overexposed and that symbol displays it turned into synonymous with ostentatious luxurious,” Eagle says.

  • Burberry heading further upmarket
  • Christopher Bailey to go away Burberry

This were given right here at a time when the brand had grow to be comparable with the football international. Players’ other halves and girlfriends along with fans famously donned the print in all places the 2002 World Cup.

Burberry check out moreover changed into ubiquitous with faux pieces, this means that it had out of place its exclusivity and further importantly, profitability.

Christopher Bailey was to grow to be the man who changed all that.

He joined the company 17 years in the past as a design director, working his way up to chief ingenious officer in 2014.

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Bailey accredited his Menswear Designer of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards in December 2013

From the company’s worst stage in 2002 to the provide day, share prices have risen 729%.

Eagle says Bailey, who is just 46, has managed to influence the fashionistas that Burberry is another time leading edge, distinctive and the most efficient place to be at Fashion Week.

“I imagine he’s a genius – he’s created our easiest imaginable British global brand, it’s more youthful, attention-grabbing and cool.

“Burberry in the past was synonymous with bad taste, now it has an identity which feels very British and can be presented spherical the international.

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Victoria Beckham wore an equivalent Burberry bandana and bikini to a signing in 2000

“His shows have been Britain’s most slick, luxurious and global,” she says.

Lucy Felton is some way journalist and blogger and is of the similar opinion that Burberry’s modern-day success is simply all the method right down to Bailey’s vision.

“So much of Burberry’s DNA is about Bailey”, Felton tells the BBC.

“His shows are massive excellent glamorous affairs, with Kate Moss or Cara Delevingne closing the expose, he all the time has massive taste icons.

“The expose is one amongst the highlights of style week. It takes place in Kensington Gardens and is so grand. Celebrities fill the front rows and it’s such an match.

“It’s got such an uplifting feeling after a few days of shows and it has any any such snicker enchantment about it – they dangle a couple of of the easiest imaginable shows and occasions.

Eagle is of the similar opinion, describing Bailey’s taste shows as “extravaganzas” thanks to vital names on every on the catwalk and the front row, which has integrated Anna Wintour and Mario Testino.

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Jake Bugg carried out the Burberry Women’s Fashion Week expose in February 2016

Felton moreover highlights each and every different great factor Bailey brought to Burberry – the most up to date song skill.

“Bailey’s always supported British music too – he launched the careers of Jake Bugg and James Bay by having them play on his catwalks, which people don’t know unless they’re a fashion insider,” she says.

She supplies Burberry is also at the again of the phenomenon of the “it” bag – its Prorsum collection creates each season’s most coveted possession, worn by means of celebrities and presented at a over the top value stage to be able to upload to its desirability.

“His ‘it’ bag was a real turning point, he created the seasonal bag that everyone wanted.”

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Actress Mena Suvari was pictured in 2007 with her Burberry Knight “it” bag

It all started once more in 2007 with the studded Knight bag, which was made as part of a limited run.

It was a huge hit with celebrities, being noticed on stars like Cameron Diaz, Emma Watson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

“I remember the Knight bag being four figures at the time and that was a big deal, it would cost £15,000 now,” she says.

“Most massive taste houses do most sensible charge pieces anyway and Burberry knew what they’ve been doing by means of uplifting prices.

“People can pay large cash for wonderful and restricted items; they would like an unique with most effective 20 pieces made.”

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Burberry’s Spring Summer 17 expose created so much passion

Bailey is also credited for rising ready-to-wear-fashion, which is available for purchase straight away off the catwalk.

“He created catwalk to consumer and the ability to buy now,” Eagle says.

“He avoided high street copies because he would exhibit his show and those items would be able to be bought in store there and then, rather than being in the store six months later. He was trying to be ahead of the copycat.”

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Romeo Beckham gave the impression at the premiere of the Burberry festive film in 2015

The Burberry tartan has even grow to be common another time. The taste area’s 2014 Christmas film featured Romeo Beckham in a antique cashmere scarf, while Burberry trench coats are another time being noticed as sublime and interesting.

“There’s been a real fashion resurgence complimenting that side of things as well – the tartan is still an attractive part of the brand,” Felton says.

“Romeo Beckham’s ad also created a new generation of people wearing the scarf, showing it as a lovely British brand and this all feeds into its charm.”

Eagle says Bailey has managed to “go 360” by means of bringing once more the Burberry print in an elegant way.

“He’s made something that feels English and London by means of nailing that look of tailoring.

“Bailey’s now celebrating the check out in the sublime way, he’s put touches of it in the Macintoshes and knitwear, whilst scarves in point of fact really feel preppy and old style.

“He’s going to be a very hard act to follow,” she says.

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Cara Delevingne models the 2017 Christmas collection

One of the problems Burberry faced was that it changed into too to be had for everyone with low-priced apparatus that cheapened the brand.

This was arguably one amongst the biggest problems the taste area would face – by means of raising value problems they could lose a large amount of customers.

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Burberry Beauty is marketed to fit with other taste houses’ sumptuous producers

That’s the position Burberry Beauty fits the bill, created in 2010 it’s marketed as a sumptuous make-up brand, presented totally in high-end department stores then again with prices that have compatibility their festival like YSL and Estee Lauder.

“Burberry Beauty has become a lot more popular over the last few years, it’s quite cult and has really gorgeous luxury packaging, it’s tapping into the younger generation who can afford a lipstick but not a catwalk dress,” Felton says.

“It means you can fill your home with Burberry even if you can’t afford a £10,000 bag.”


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