Lessons from Bailey

Photo by Nick Knight

My obsession with Burberry in relation to all things digital continues, and gets further satisfaction from this profile of Christopher Bailey in American Vogue.

In it, writer Robert Sullivan refers to Bailey as a pioneer in this space: “To Bailey, designing a trench and designing a Web-savvy business fall along the same lines—each creates a place for his customer to live.”

Bailey’s focus on this hybrid world, has resulted in a real change in what luxury today actually means.

“Slowly, with a meticulous assuredness, [Bailey] has traded in the traditional idea of luxury—status as defined in large part by exclusivity—for something that is cool because it’s thoroughly global and modern, modern in the sense that it thrives at technology’s leading edge,” says Sullivan.

In so doing, Bailey acknowledges he’s not just aiming to appeal to his current customers, but to consumers at large.

“Brands are more and more multidimensional,” Bailey says. “It’s about an experience as well as buying a product. And I think what we’ve found is the more we entertain, the more we allow people into our brand. Then maybe one day they’ll buy. And then… who knows?”

He also suggests plans with mobile and location could be a next step for the brand. “I love the idea that if someone is part of our Burberry community, they can be fed content based on where they are… So if I’m in London and I’ve been interested in this bag, these pants, this coat, and I fly to New York and I pass our window on Fifty-seventh Street, something might pop up that says, ‘You’re at Burberry, and this product is in this size’.”

The industry could learn a lot from Bailey. As Sullivan puts it: “He has positioned Burberry as fashion’s leader on the next frontier, a global digital frontier that many of the largest fashion brands have watched while standing nervously behind their just-cracked penthouse doors.”

Read the full article here: Christopher Bailey: Tech Mate