Ready To Wear: Burberry remains best known for its outerwear
Monday 26 July 2010
So, Burberry has "done a Burberry" once more.
Despite widespread economic uncertainty, Britain's most famous heritage brand appears to be in the clover.
Sales in the first quarter of this year rose 27 per cent and the company is investing a cool £70m to buy back its stores in China – home to the fastest growing luxury-goods market and, by all accounts, a predominantly chilly place. Burberry – for all the ruched, twisted sweet nothings that characterise its summer main-line collection – remains best known for outerwear.
Much has been made of the presence of Emma Watson in the brand's advertising campaign over the past year as contributing to any good fortune. The new "face" of Burberry, meanwhile, is another, equally entitled and aptly named English rose, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley.
Any fashion killjoys out there might argue that casting such youthful characters – surrounded by equally fresh-faced public schoolboys – serves only to alienate a core client who is older and therefore more likely to invest between £500 and £800 for a classic Burberry trench coat. That, however, is an also typically British miserable view and one that is as misguided as it is po-faced.
Only look at the equally powerful Art of the Trench project, launched last year on Burberry's vibrant, newly improved website to see men, women and children, of all nationalities, captured by The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman. It goes to show that anyone can benefit from the sharp, chic lines of this ever fashionable and even iconic raincoat, not just the young, privileged and preternaturally beautiful Brit.
Speaking of whom, she – and indeed he – is just the sort David Cameron and his cronies are likely to be hitting on as representing the bright new future of this nation. And so, just as during Thatcher's regime this only encouraged the young "casuals" (yesteryear's "chavs") to overturn any class system by making brands such as Burberry their own – and, it's worth noting, looking more dapper in them than their so-called betters – the gloves are off once more.
Of course, Burberry only stands to gain from such a state of affairs – everywhere from the football terraces of northern England to the shopping mall in Beijing.
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