Burberry's heritage revived under Tisci

Burberry's new designer Riccardo Tisci.
Burberry's new designer Riccardo Tisci.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • A 162-year-old brand is getting a lifeline from fresh blood.

With metallic trimmings and corset-like belts, Burberry's trademark trench coats took centre stage at its relaunch under new designer Riccardo Tisci on Monday.

The ex-Givenchy star evoked the label's British heritage, with pussybow blouses and pleated skirts, and showcased new handbags, an area Burberry wants to boost.

Luxury brands are jostling for favour from younger shoppers at a time when strong demand from Chinese consumers is boosting industry revenues.

Burberry's chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti is repositioning the brand in the luxury segment, where profit margins are higher.

Tisci, who took over from long-standing designer Christopher Bailey this year, brought out some of the darker, sexy styles he is known for, with slinky evening gowns and sharp men's suits.

The 44-year-old Italian referenced Burberry's famed red, black and camel check in jacket linings.

Tisci had already been generating a buzz in recent months by introducing a new sans-serif logo by British graphic designer Peter Saville, a TB monogram and a collaboration with Vivienne Westwood, one of his British design heroes.

The TB stands for company founder Thomas Burberry.

While Burberry's shares are up 38 per cent since Tisci's appointment was announced in March, analysts said Burberry was still at the early stages of a turnaround.

Like-for-like sales in its last quarter were up 3 per cent against double-digit growth for the sector - and the task facing Mr Gobbetti is not an easy one.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2018, with the headline 'Burberry's heritage revived under Tisci'. Print Edition | Subscribe