Daniel Lee Unveils Peek Of Things To Come At Burberry

What Happened: British brand Burberry has revealed a glimpse of what it will look like under English designer Daniel Lee. The former creative director of Bottega Veneta and friend of Christopher Bailey (who helmed Burberry for 17 years) has revamped the brand with a gentler, more nuanced font and blue logo that uses the traditional Equestrian Knight Device (EKD) with a banner reading Prorsum, or forward in Latin. 

The first images have dropped featuring a diverse set of renowned contemporary British names: octogenarian actress Vanessa Redgrave, footballer Raheem Sterling, rappers Skepta and Shygirl, model Lennon Gallagher (Oasis frontman Liam’s son) and actress Liberty Ross — all shot at iconic London locations by photographer Tyrone LeBon. 

British model and actress Liberty Ross in Daniel Lee’s first Burberry campaign. Image: Courtesy of Burberry and Tyrone LeBon

The Jing Take: The response so far has been positive. Many will welcome a return to the brand’s heritage after several years of Riccardo Tisci’s tenure. Burberry emptied its official Instagram account before it started posting on Lee’s new vision, and these first images tell a more carefree, less retouched or curated story while featuring “Burberry classics” — the classic Burberry check, plenty of signature trench coats, a limited palette — demonstrating more British realness and less global fashion ubiquity. A runway show on February 20 in London will formally debut Lee’s chapter at the brand, but these images tease the new attitude we’re to expect. 

Lee interned at esteemed houses like Balenciaga and Maison Martin Margiela, before working at Donna Karan and Celine under Phoebe Philo. His three-year run as Bottega Veneta’s creative director was praised by fashion critics and brand consumers for injecting a sense of newness while elevating the brand’s artisanal roots. Lee excels in subtle luxury, craftsmanship and cultured minimalism, as can be seen from the logo change: from Tisci’s bold, thick san serif font to a softer, slimmer and more traditional Helvetica. The concept has so far been met with praise in China and worldwide. That connection linking modern Britain to Burberry’s unique place in the annals of British fashion feels both right and right now. 

British actress Vanessa Redgrave in Daniel Lee’s first Burberry campaign. Image: Burberry and Tyrone LeBon

Discussion quickly erupted on Chinese social media. WeChat user @ajdudnevd826485 was surprised by the new logo, asking “Will Burberry go back to its classic style?” while @xl commented that “The vibe now looks right.” Meanwhile, @Fashion_BangZ commented on Weibo, “Daniel Lee used a new font format, also will this blue be something like BV [Bottega Veneta] Green in the future?” The WeChat post announcement generated 74k views within a few hours.

These initial reactions will be music to the brand’s ears. With both Lee and new CEO Jonathan Ackroyd coming on board last year, Burberry is likely to chart a different and more energized path. Burberry has achieved positive earnings results recently, despite lockdowns in China, and with a new team at the top and a rejuvenation of the brand underway, there’s likely plenty more to come.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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