Interview with Riccardo Tisci, Burberry creative director
In recent months, the fashion industry has been forced to adapt to a rapidly changing world, where both clothes and the way we buy them are undergoing a real metamorphosis. More and more luxury shoppers are migrating online, which is why Burberry’s creative director, Riccardo Tisci, believes that our social habits are the key to the future of shopping – but what would a phygital boutique look like?
Designed to offer a fully interactive experience, the British fashion house is launching a new ‘social shop’ in Shenzen, China, which will mix the social media universe with the real world shopping universe, allowing customers to discover more about the brand designs through their smartphones.
“Our concept of selling via social networks is a further step to offer our community a truly personal luxury experience,” says Tisci a Tips Clear. “What I find extremely interesting is the ability for our customers to discover the Burberry world both physically and digitally.”
Tisci supports the importance of physical shopping, despite the rapid transition to online shopping. “In fashion in particular, it is necessary to see and understand the texture and movement of the clothes. We need to test what is concrete and tangible, “he adds. “I believe there will always be space for physical stores, which will mostly be places where customers will have the opportunity to feel more and more in the heart of the brand; it’s about establishing and consolidating an emotional bond. “
During the pandemic, fashion content had a significant growth on platforms such as TikTok, and this denotes a desire by the youngest luxury buyers to consume more online content about style. Tisci’s new shopping proposal in China appeals to this generation. Thanks to WeChat, shoppers can earn ‘social currency’ to unlock exclusive content and personalized experiences in the store, as well as sharing everything with friends.
Buyers will also be provided with an overview of the brand’s history through the Trench Experience, which will focus on the famous Burberry trench coat. “I think customers, especially younger ones, want to buy and believe in the identity of the brand, now more than ever,” explains Tisci. “Technology allows us to communicate differently with our community.”
With sustainability increasingly becoming a major concern, Burberry has stepped up its environmental initiatives in recent years. In April, the luxury brand introduced the sustainable label that outlines the positive characteristics of a product, which will now be incorporated into a QR code in the new Shenzen social store. The maison has also committed itself to becoming zero-impact by 2022 and has introduced targets to reduce emissions across the entire production chain.
Finally, the pandemic gave Tisci time to reflect on how to communicate his creative vision, with the Burberry spring summer 2021 unisex collection ready to be shown virtually in September. “It was a very interesting time for me, it helped me rethink my creative work,” he explains. “It was nice to watch artists from various sectors use this time to express themselves in a unique way, and notice how, thanks to social media, the voices of many are heard today. There is a sort of democratization of expression that is allowing a further step forward for the fashion industry, and which also affects emerging talents and the whole community. This is how we have the opportunity to inform them, inspire them and convince them to collaborate with us. “
Today more than ever, industry plays a fundamental role in creating change. “Fashion has a voice in our society, a voice that I hope will be used to push us beyond our limits,” concludes Tisci. We are an industry of dreamers and we have the means and responsibility to use our platforms to unite communities and take action on change. I firmly believe in the Renaissance, and I believe the time has come for a rebirth in the world. “