Sep 22, 2010
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Burberry unveils catwalk-to-consumer campaign

Sep 22, 2010

Burberry Prorsum S/S 2011 at London Fashion Week. Photo : Pixelformula
LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - British luxury goods group Burberry unveiled its "Retail Theatre" concept in London and around the world on Tuesday, allowing consumers to see and buy its 2011 Spring/Summer collection live from the catwalk.

Burberry (BRBY.L) Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts would not be drawn on the potential sales effects after the London catwalk show, but said the concept was part of a rush to embrace online retail by a luxury sector that spent years ignoring the power of direct sales.

"This interactive retail investment will enable long-term sustainable growth well beyond these exciting global digital events," Ahrendts said in a statement.

The company -- known for clothes, coats, bags and accessories in a combination of traditional British heritage and hip style -- streamed its Burberry Prorsum womenswear show into 25 stores across 15 countries.

It created an "app" for Apple iPads to allow consumers to browse the collection and buy online immediately.

"We're just trying to connect with the consumer," Ahrendts told Reuters. "Any great brand marketing will drive sales."

In July, Burberry beat forecasts with a 24 percent rise in first-quarter underlying revenue, boosted by the timing of wholesale and licensing revenue and demand for outerwear and accessories.

Best known for its camel, red and black check pattern, Burberry weathered the recent economic downturn better than many rivals thanks to a quick response that saw it slash costs, jobs, stocks and ranges. It has since stepped up investment, with a focus on emerging markets, e-commerce and menswear.

Revenue jumped 24 percent at constant exchange rates to 282 million pounds ($423 million) in the three months ended June, excluding a Spanish arm under restructuring, beating the average forecast of 263 million in a Reuters poll of eight analysts.

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Burberry Prorsum S/S 2011 at London Fashion Week

Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey's latest London Fashion Week show mixed biker jackets with trenchcoats at mid and mini length, then combined the biker and trenchcoat looks in gabardine, bonded twill and other fabrics with all kinds of leather from heavy black to shiny patent in bright colours.

"I wanted the collection to be a fusion of the classic trenchcoat and the motorcycle jacket," Bailey told Reuters, adding that the idea was inspired by images of motorcycle clothing in the 154-year-old firm's archives.

(Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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