As luxury fashion brands face up to the fact that the key publicity moment of the season – the runway show during one of the big four fashion weeks – can't happen in the usual way this autumn, many are coming up with alternative ideas.
And Burberry, it seems, is planning a co-ed fashion show in September for SS21, but a fashion show with a difference.
The focus will be digital. but this will be based on a live event rather than a pre-filmed studio one, although it will have no physical audience. The company talked about a “live physical presentation that is open for all to experience digitally” so it’s clearly aiming for the widest possible industry and consumer audience. It also mentioned natural settings around the UK, clearly linking the event to its outdoor and British heritage.
“Now more than ever, we have to reimagine, to change,” the company said. “We’ve always been drawn to nature and today we look to the purity and simplicity of the outdoors – where our founder Thomas Burberry laid our foundations – redefining our fashion landscape through new forms of expression”.
It's certainly an interesting development in a season when fully-digital is likely to be the main focus for most brands and reflects a history of Burberry being able to garner headlines with its offbeat approach to digital.
The event will happen on September 17, putting it squarely in the middle of what would normally have been Fashion Month. And it will also serve as a kick-off for London fashion week – of which Burberry is usually the biggest star name – as that event starts on September 18, running until September 22.
“As humans, we have always had a deep affinity to nature. Especially recently, we have all yearned to reconnect again, and for this show, I wanted to celebrate these feelings by bringing our community together in a creative experience that takes place within the beautiful, natural landscape of Britain,” Tisci said in a release.
It’s not clear at the moment whether the show will happen in multiple locations or one single outdoor space, although it seems like it could be the former with the press release including a short film showing snatches various outdoor locations.
It’s also unclear what might happen if – as we saw with Dior’s Cruise 2019 show – the weather intervenes and it starts to rain. However, given that even for a summer season, there are likely to be plenty of trench coats included, it may not be as much of a problem for the label as it would be for some others.