Burberry

Burberry is Celebrating the Past and Present

Fresh off a recent makeover, Riccardo Tisci’s latest “Monogram” collection for Burberry starring Gigi Hadid ushers in a contemporary aesthetic while paying homage to the past.

When Riccardo Tisci first took over Burberry in March 2018, he spent a lot of time diving through the rich archives of the storied British fashion house. He was especially taken with the figure of Thomas Burberry, drawn to the brand’s original founder as an inventor and innovator, but also as a man, husband and father.

Tisci quickly enlisted the help of British art director and graphic designer Peter Saville, best known for his New Order and Joy Division record sleeves, and more recently, his work for Calvin Klein under Raf Simons. Together, they worked to deliver a new logo for the 163-year-old luxury fashion house, inspired directly by Tisci’s visit to the archives, and in particular, a logo from 1908 and a Thomas Burberry monogram.

Burberry

“It’s a symbol that not only embraces Burberry’s heritage but also feels very contemporary.”

In a nod to the founder of the brand, the Italian-born fashion designer took to his personal Instagram a few months later to unveil the updated logo. The modern rendition of a red and honey interlocking “TB” monogram set the world on fire with a design that felt especially fresh, special and, perhaps most importantly, modern. “It’s a symbol that not only embraces Burberry’s heritage but also feels very contemporary,” Tisci says. “What I wanted to do with the collection was to celebrate the breadth of who we speak to as a brand.”

The new monogram marked a shift in the British brand’s identity under its new Chief Creative Officer. It was also significant because it was the first time that the fashion house had updated its look in two decades, as the previous change saw Burberry drop the “S” from its name in 1999.

It’s no secret that Tisci wants to re-energize the brand and reposition Burberry as a real luxury player. Perhaps he’s motivated by Alessandro Michele’s retro interpretation of Gucci for a younger audience, complete with flowers and playful motifs. What about Maria Grazia Chiuri reintroducing Dior’s logo print on handbags for her first ever ready-to-wear show? Even Fendi has revived its black and brown double “F” logo print across several pieces and accessories.

It’s far more than simply appealing to millennials, however. After all, Burberry has always been about more than simply expertly crafted outerwear. As a major player on the British scene since it was founded in 1856, Burberry has dressed everyone from Kate Moss to Queen Elizabeth II over the generations. The brand equipped First World War soldiers for the trenches, fitted George Mallory for his Mount Everest expeditions and Ernest Shackleton for his daring journey to Antarctica. Not only does Burberry occupy an influential seat on a commercial level, but it’s also emblematic of British identity.

Burberry

While a 44-year-old who hails from the south of Italy may not seem like the obvious choice for redefining British culture, Burberry’s ambitious vision seems to be coming to life after all. Led by Tisci’s optimistic outsider’s perspective, the prestigious fashion house is ushering in a new era and aesthetic, one that’s inclusive, modern and forward-looking.

While Burberry has already put forth a few collections under Tisci’s lead, their latest is the first that features the interlocking “TB” initials. It’s previously only appeared on some items, such as silk scarves, T-shirts and leather bags, until now. Dubbed the “Monogram” collection, Tisci’s inclusive vision of Burberry looks towards the future, while simultaneously paying homage to its storied past.

At its core, the “Monogram” collection is a celebration of everybody that Burberry appeals to as a brand. Coming to life with the eye of photographer Nick Knight, the collection is interpreted by Gigi Hadid, who plays four separate personas of the Burberry brand in a stripped-down and honest manner.

Burberry

Dressed as “The Girl”, spotlighted on Gigi Hadid are the oversized Carrick T-shirt worn on the shoulder, Raine Pant made in silk, crossbody Monogram Camera Bag and Elodie High heels paired with Stripe Classic Socks. Moving forward to “The Boy”, the look features a Monogram Baseball Cap, Poulter Hoodie, Monogram Fanny Pack, Md Kennedy Travel Bag, the Jett Backpack and the Monogram sneakers.

Evolving from “The Girl” to “The Lady”, a feminine presence is presented in a Nylon Car Coat with a Monogram Silk Square Scarf tied around the collar and the look finished with a Book Tote Bag. Following by the transformation of “The Boy” to “The Gentleman”, a mature touch is added on Gigi Hadid. Pieces include a Pillow Collar Car Coat, an Mh Vertical Rib Beanie and a Chatham Button Down Shirt.

A selection of stylish and contemporary ready-to-wear clothes and accessories for men and women, the latest offerings come with the new signature code in Burberry’s tonal shades of beige and brown makes its proud mark on every piece: cotton-piqué polo shirts, nylon bomber jackets, silk scarves, track pants, a bikini, sunglasses, a yoga mat and more–all cast in a neutral colour palette of chocolate brown, chestnut brown and beige, with red stripes laid on top of the prints.

Burberry

Making her campaign debut for Burberry, Hadid effortlessly transforms across each personality. A massive fashion icon in her own right, she too brings a burst of freshness to the brand’s classic image.

“The thing that excites me the most about Burberry is how inclusive it is–it appeals to everyone no matter their age, their social standing, their race, their gender,” Tisci says. “So when I was thinking about my first campaign here, I knew I wanted to work with a collection of collaborators to help interpret the breadth of what this incredible heritage house represents to so many different people–from the millennial to the mature, to the British and to the international.”

With the “Monogram” collection, Tisci is sustaining Burberry’s iconic heritage while simultaneously aligning the brand with the times. His vision is what fashion should be: for every age, every lifestyle and every culture. It’s a reflection of the modern world that brings the eclecticism, diversity and beauty of Burberry to life.

Words by Braeden Alexander – The Burberry “Monogram” collection is available on HBX now.

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