Ahead of London Fashion Week, luxury fashion brand Burberry has launched its new takeover series ‘Burberry Streets’. As part of the takeover, the brand has partnered with iconic London spot Norman’s.
The partnership sees Norman’s serving up classic British fry ups and breakfasts to fashion week goers and regular patron’s alike, whilst the café has been decked out in head-to-toe Burberry. From the salt and pepper shakers to the staff’s uniform it is adorned with the Burberry branding.
As well as the café itself, Burberry are hitting the road with Norman’s – taking a Norman’s x Burberry branded food truck around London and serving up British classics. Burberry will also be lining the streets of the city with the brand signatures such as the newly imagined Equestrian Knight motif to mark a new direction from Daniel Lee.
Following it’s stint in London, the Burberry Streets takeover will head to Seoul and Shanghai.
The partnership has seen lots of love from the media, but a mixed reaction on social media. Whilst many are praising the collaboration, some social media users are raising concerns over a luxury brand partnering with a working class institution such as Norman’s.
The Hatchlings had plenty to say on the matter:
Ruby first brought the campaign to the hatchling’s attention, and noted that it hadn’t gone down well on social media. Whilst the media are loving it, social is divided. Ruby said whilst it had been received well by the media “on social this hasn’t been the case, with a lot of people stating it’s romanticising working class aesthetics and being tone deaf in today’s climate. They also took off their Novacheck collection in the 2000s because too many ‘working class’ people purchased it and they were scared of it ruining the brand.”
Ruby was interested to hear what everyone thought on the matter as it was causing conflicting opinions on social media. Is it a little ‘icky’ for luxury fashion brands to tap into a ‘working class’ aesthetic?
“I think it is a really smart campaign from Burberry, but it is really interesting to see how divided people are on it.”
Cam made some really insightful points around the history of Burberry and luxury brands in the UK and their links to football. Cam says “The working class vs. luxury brand image debate is a really interesting topic as I think it is actually quite strongly linked to what made Burberry such a household name in the first place.
“Back during the height of English football hooliganism around the 70’s, English fans had a reputation for looting high-end fashion brands when travelling to European cities for away games and would often come back with a suitcase full of luxury brands like Sergio Tacchini, Lacoste and Burberry. This led to the ‘football casuals’ fashion subculture and whilst I doubt this demographic were the initial target for these high-end brands, their focus on ‘exclusive’ positioning will always be appealing to those looking to elevate their social status through clothes.
“I like the fact that they’re not just shunning that customer base anymore and there’s other brands who’ve managed to target both audiences effectively such as Ralph Lauren.
And, some final thoughts from myself…
I personally like the campaign and it has definitely got a lot of attention, but I do understand the controversy that surrounds it as there tends to be a common theme of luxury brands (and high-street brands to that avail) commodifying trends, aesthetics and cultures when it suits their narrative. However, as Cam mentions, if it signifies the brand wanting to reach new audiences, and become more accessible that is a good thing.
It will be interesting to see the next two activations in Shanghai and Seoul to better understand the overall purpose behind this campaign.