Burberry’s signature check scarves and trench coats have long been items sought after by Chinese consumers looking to achieve the classic British look. But those items, alone, are no longer enough to help the brand draw new consumers.
During Burberry’s latest Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show at London Fashion Week, the chief creative officer Christopher Bailey infused the familiar designs with a fresh injection of streetwear culture. The brand also hoped to leverage the massive popularity of Chinese celebrities Kris Wu and Zhou Dongyu, perhaps in an attempt to attract China’s millennial market.
This season, Bailey has put a load of sporty elements into his designs. The combination of Burberry’s classic styles with youth-oriented elements has shown this designer’s determination to lead the brand into a new era for a new audience after serving it for 16 years.
Burberry also once again collaborated with Gosha Rubchinskiy, a well-known Russian designer and photographer thought of as the Russian equivalent of Supreme, to host a two-week exhibition that kicked off at the close of the show.
China is a significant market for Burberry as the sales growth from this region has been great and very steady over the past two years. The latest financial reports released by the brand in mid-July show that China was the main driver behind the brand’s revenues. Its Chief Financial Officer also noted the positive sentiment they have received by Chinese young generations.
To retain the confidence of Chinese buyers, Burberry has placed a priority, like many other luxury brands in China do, in finding the right KOLs to work with. Its relationship with Kris Wu, a pop singer and actor who also has recently made a foray into streetwear hip-hop culture by producing the hit television show “The Rap of China,” has brought back positive returns to the brand. In many occasions, Burberry has publicly recognized Wu’s contributions in reshaping the brand image among Chinese millennial consumers.
Zhou Dongyu, the 25-year-old award-winning actress, joined Burberry earlier this year. This season marked the second time she attended the brand’s fashion show in London. Unlike most Chinese actresses who, off-screen, receive public attention mostly for their elegance and beauty, Zhou has a strong attitude and personal style that millennial audiences in China relate to.
The appearance of both Wu and Zhou together created a lot of social media buzz inside and outside the show. The South China Morning Post reported that Wu’s crazy followers lined up in front of the venue of the show three hours before it started in order to see their idol. On Weibo, users couldn’t stop posting comments about Wu’s dreadlocks, which were done for the show.