• Home
  • News
  • Fashion
  • Burberry's cloth has always weathered storms, but can the brand rise to the challenge?

Burberry's cloth has always weathered storms, but can the brand rise to the challenge?

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


Scroll down to read more


Burberry AW24 collection Credits: Burberry

A cadre of British models graced the Burberry runway on Monday evening, with Agyness Deyn opening the show, fresh out of fashion retirement. Ms. Deyn, an embodiment of British cool in the late 2000s, adorned numerous covers with her iconic blonde pixie hair. This era coincided with Burberry's creative direction under Christopher Bailey, where Englishness and heritage were the defining elements before a shift towards luxury streetwear, marked by new logos, branding, and updated store aesthetics, all while under Italian management both operationally and in design. Along the way, Burberry's raison d’être became somewhat opaque.

Critics argue that Burberry lost its British identity. Despite data and analytics favouring streetwear for profitability, a brand like Burberry faced challenges in this category as it diverged from its core identity. If one were to envision Burberry, images of the countryside, posh folk braving the elements, trench coats, delicate dresses, sumptuous cashmere, and heirloom-quality outerwear would come to mind—certainly not sneakers, printed tees, or the perplexing new blue logo.

New era, new strategy

In his third season, Daniel Lee shifted strategies, steering the collection back to its fundamentals. While some may label it as nostalgia, Lee's approach involves a nuanced redesign, balancing novel fabric, cuts, and details along with the design language expected by the brand’s clientele.

Owning the colour beige, Lee focused on outerwear and bags, incorporating tassels, fringing, dangling zipper pulls, and blanket linings for added novelty. The duck hats and oversized belt buckles from last season made way for fur-trimmed collars, cuffs, and shoulder seams. The collection restored sophistication with a palette of browns, beiges, checks, and a sprinkle of black, recapturing the true spirit of Burberry.

In culinary terms, they say too many cooks spoil the broth. In fashion, yielding to too many voices and relying on generic data diminishes the element of wonder and surprise. John Galliano's Maison Margiela haute couture presentation in January underscored the vital role bold creativity plays in fashion. Let's hope that last season's Burberry serves as a temporary glitch, and that Mr. Lee can successfully navigate this British ship back on the course of desirability.

Daniel Lee