A house divided against itself cannot stand.
When Riccardo Tisci was appointed Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer last year, he was confronted by a legendary fashion house that had two distinct and disparate personalities. There was the streetwear side with mixed separates and logo’d surfaces. And then there was the classic, sophisticated side synonymous with ladylike bags and stately trenches. His solution was to bring the two identities into coexistence, to acknowledge and design for both sides instead of subsuming one into the other. His talent and skill for streetwear design, along with his high-fashion acumen and business-oriented perspective, brought about a new mood at Burberry – one that has been resonating throughout all sectors of the fashion industry.
One of his first moves was to pay homage to the archives by creating a new monogram based on the initials of the house founder, Thomas Burberry. “When I first started at Burberry, I spent a lot of time in the archives researching the rich history of the house,” Tisci shared. “I quickly became very interested in Thomas Burberry and who he was, not only as an inventor and innovator, but also who he was as a man, a husband, and a father. When I saw an image of his initials, the design felt so special and actually very modern, so I quickly developed it into a new code for the house. It’s a symbol that not only embraces Burberry’s heritage, but also feels very contemporary. What I wanted to do with the collection was to celebrate the breadth of who we speak to as a brand. Alongside some of the most talented creative icons of today and tomorrow, I am so proud of what we achieved together with this campaign.”
The interlocking “T” and “B” letters became the foundation on which he has built Burberry’s new monogram, and it has made its way onto a product selection with the release of the first ever ‘Monogram’ collection for the house. It debuts today, with a very special campaign shot by Nick Knight and styled by Katy England. As you can see, above, there are four figures in the campaign, representing four identities: the lady, the gentleman, the girl, and the boy. The campaign stars Gigi Hadid – who plays all four characters – in a gender fluid display that speaks to Burberry’s modernity.
As the lady, Hadid sports a classic red lip, a chic bun, and a feminine trench upholstered in the new monogram, while the girl character allows her to play with youth codes in a relaxed pose that shows off her confident side. As the gentleman, she is practically unrecognizable in a ribbed knit beanie, trousers, and brogues, while the boy character illustrates a playful side, punctuating his streetwise look with an attitudinal pose. For a closer look at Burberry’s new ‘Monogram’ collection, browse the gallery below.