Bye Bye Burberry: Riccardo Tisci’s Most Influential Moments at the British Heritage Brand
by: The Beat Asia
September 30, 2022
British fashion house Burberry has announced the departure of its chief creative officer, Italian fashion designer Riccardo Tisci, just after the Burberry SS23 runway show at London Fashion Week. Beginning from Oct. 3, former Bottega Veneta creative director and Bradford native Daniel Lee will assume the role.
Having begun his turn at bat in 2018, Tisci’s reign at Burberry ushered in a new era of Gen Z appeal, greater influence of technical sportswear and streetwear elements, introduced a series of programmes in the realm of socio-ecological afflictions, and an expansion on the boundaries surrounding the “British” cultural aesthetic to better suit the fabric of today’s zeitgeist. As a foreigner who had to also represent the brand during the time of Brexit, Tisci went against the grain to source his influences from beyond existing history and the Burberry archives, fusing together the old Britain with the new.
Glancing back at Burberry circa Tisci, here are several of the most memorable transformations he implemented that has left a heavy-duty gabardine impact on the brand.
TB and B – Logo and Pattern Change
In a snowballing of the late 2010s urge to simplify everything to its bare bones components, one of Tisci’s early and most ostentatious moves was changing the Burberry logo to its current sans serif Bodoni-font icon of the label’s name in all caps. The radical reset came as a collaboration with renowned graphic designer Peter Saville, who was known for his simplistic yet instantly recognisable work on Joy Division album covers.
Saville also worked on constructing a monogram referencing Thomas Burberry, showcasing the brand’s founder as a beige “B” impaled by a gridlock of tessellated lines that merge to form the “T” and a weblike background. It was a removal from the classic nova check pattern lining Burberry’s garments and accessories through the years, yet still referenced the pattern in its design roots.
Hero – Burberry’s First Men’s Eau de Parfum
Named “Hero,” Burberry released its inaugural men’s fragrance under the helm of Tisci. Perhaps a move of wish fulfilment in assigning face of the campaign to Oscar-nominated Adam Driver, the Johnathan Glazer-directed fragrance campaign film featured the muscular “Star Wars” star riding shirtless on horseback before becoming a new age centaur, faintly evoking Burberry’s previous logo versions that all depicted an armoured knight jousting on a wildly galloping steed. Needless to say, the campaign was well received.
Taking Fashion to the Streets
Famously recognised for his love for sportswear elements that he seamlessly blended into luxury apparel during his time at Givenchy, Tisci was able to add structures and tailoring from traditional high-fashion into practical tracksuits and pullovers, and vice versa by injecting street-style into collections of cocktail dresses and sweeping reconstructed trench coats. Eventually setting the path that drove the luxury fashion industry’s sharp turn into closely intertwining with street culture which carved out a newfound fluidity allowing designers like Virgil Abloh and Demna Gvaslia to shoot into the upper rung of the spotlight.
A Conscious Closet
Aside from banning the use of genuine fur in Burberry products and putting a stop to the destruction of unsold items, Tisci also proactively introduced the ReBurberry Fabric campaign to breathe a second life into the production’s deadstocks. As part of the scheme, leftover fabrics from the Burberry manufacturing pipeline were donated to fashion schools all over the U.K., allowing future designers to get their hands on gabardine scraps of their own. The brand also announced their obligations to cut down on carbon output.
In the realm of social impact, Tisci had joined hands with Premier League player Marcus Rashford to set up a school meal network that was able to feed over 200,000 children across 15 youth centres in London, thanks to support from Burberry.
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