The concept of Britishness is so integral to Burberry's brand that the two have become almost synonymous in the world of fashion. Chief creative officer Christopher Bailey has previously drawn on the isles' long and varied tradition of artisanship for his collections - and he's bringing that to the fore for London Fashion Week through a project with The New Craftsmen.
The organisation works with more than 75 makers, spanning disciplines from textiles, silverware and furniture to ceramics, jewellery, glassware and more. Promoting the craftsmanship still being practised in Britain today, The New Craftsmen sells items from these independent artists through its website and Mayfair boutique.
Launching on the evening of Burberry's collection, on 19 September, the partnership will manifest in a dynamic showcase called Makers House at the brand's new show venue at 1 Manette Street in London's Soho. Open to the public from 21 to 27 September, it will feature a rotating cast of activities and makers who will take the new clothing collection as a reference point to create original works.
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"This campaign reflects a collection inspired by Virginia Woolf's Orlando and also sets out to honour the many skilled craftspeople who work on Burberry's iconic products," says Bailey. "Just as Orlando is both a love letter to the past and a work of profound modernity, this week-long exhibition aims to nod both to the design heritage that is so integral to Burberry's identity and to some of Britain's most exciting creators, as well as the innovation and inspiration behind their work."
This month marks one of the biggest shifts in Burberry's commercial strategy to date, and confirms its position among the most forward-thinking fashion houses. Favouring immediacy over the industry's conventional seasonal structure, the brand's runway show this September will be its first straight-to-consumer collection, available to purchase in-store and online immediately after the show.
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