On the heels of a major announcement this month that it would be the first house to alter the runway-to-retail timetable in an effort to close the 6-month window between the runway show and when consumers can actually shop those looks, Burberry showed its Fall/Winter 2016 collection in London today. As promised, directly following the show, the iconic British brand began offering looks from the runway for sale.
The only problem is: While you can technically shop the looks now, they won't be shipped for 12 to 18 weeks, according to our friends over at Racked. So, in essence, Burberry is offering a Moda Operandi-type service, in which consumers can pre-order looks and then receive them in accordance with the usual timetable.
And in case you're beginning to sense that See Now-Buy Now might not be all its amped up to be, if you were hoping to have access to the entire collection right off the bat, you will be disappointed. So far, only a number of coats from the show are available for purchase on its e-commerce site. As for garments and accessories from the F/W 16 show, they are not yet shoppable on the brand’s website (no word yet as to what is being offered in stores).
Beginning Wednesday, there will be a bit of a wider selection, according to the brand, at least in terms of the patchwork goods that it showed. According to its e-commerce site: "With no two styles the same, The Patchwork is a unique mix of texture, fabric and detail, individually named after British streets, towns and villages. Available from Wednesday." The looks that embodied the patchwork print included everything from coats and dresses to purses and belts.
I can't help but think of a recent interview with A.P.C.'s notoriously outspoken and unapologetic founder, Jean Touitou, who sounded off on See now-Buy now, calling it "a trick for press." He elaborated saying: "The big houses, they are totally disorganized, they don't know how to take risk, they are too big. It will happen one season, two seasons, they will have a lot of leftover stock and then they will switch to another idea. I swear. Believe me."
The brand may have to work up to providing a larger range of goods for instantaneous shopping. As we told you in connection with the house’s announcement earlier this month, speeding up its manufacturing and delivery schedule by six months or so, will almost certainly prove a rocky road (at least initially) given the need to shift the established timeline of manufacturing and deliveries, etc.. However, a house like Burberry – with its “financial muscle and vertical integration” – is well positioned to pioneer such a massive change.
Chances are, next season the house will offer a wider array of looks from the runway and more the following season and so on. Or maybe this really is a big ploy for more press. We'll see ...
As for the collection itself, our anonymous (and thus, unbiased) critic for the Fall/Winter 2016 shows noted: "Burberry? I'm not a fan, but I have to say I really liked the darker color scheme and the styling of the short dress + flats + long coat combinations. This could definitely be a hit. Ultimately, we can't knock Burberry too much, as they present a good way of being commercial."