Burberry’s strategy to re-energize is showing early promise. Ahead of the debut of former Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci in September, Burberry’s chief executive Marco Gobbetti – who joined the British fashion stalwart early last year after a successful tenure at LVMH-owned Celine – is busy repositioning the British fashion house into a global luxury brand.
“With Riccardo Tisci now on board and a strong leadership team in place, we are excited about the year ahead and remain fully focused on our strategy to deliver long-term sustainable value,” Gobbetti told Reuters on Wednesday. “While thetask of transforming Burberry is still before us, the first steps we implemented to re-energize our brand are showing promising early signs.”
Among those sign of preliminary success? A 2 percent rise in operating profit for the fiscal year, which ended in March, bringing profits to nearly $630 million dollars. The company reported revenue of $3.7 billion), down 1 percent, although, as noted by Reuters, “comparable same store sales rose 3 percent, in line with market forecasts.”
Growth was led, in part, by longtime creative director Christopher Bailey’s final collection. The brand’s Chief Financial Officer Julie Brown said that there was high demand for an edited capsule collection, which was shoppable immediately after the February 2018 show. Burberry’s new Belt Bags, which retail at $2,142 were also proving popular, she said.
Burberry, which has, for years now, lacked an “it” bag, will certainly look to this momentum, as well as an increased attention to bags as key money markers, going forth. Gobbetti announced earlier this week that Burberry will be taking a team of around 100 leather goods specialists in-house as part of the deal agreed with CF&P, one of its longstanding Italian leather suppliers in a move to “boost its handbag business in a drive to take its brand more upmarket.”
And this is one place where Tisci will help. Prior to his appointment at Givenchy in February 2005, the house saw the turnover of a number of creative directors – including John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Julien Macdonald – but none of these buzzy creatives had introduced any truly coveted “it” accessories.
During his tenure with the Paris-based brand, Tisci first garnered demand for the Nightengale bag, the house’s first foray into “it” bags, followed, of course, by an array of other accessible items, including sneakers, printed t-shirts, and costume jewelry. On the cult-bag front, this is something Burberry could certainly benefit from.