Burberry unveils Animal Instinct collection, names digital, analytics chief
Burberry unveiled its SS22 collection this week and unlike many major labels, it continued to show digitally. It also named its new data and analytics chief, with the creation of a new leadership post underlining the importance of those functions to the brand.
First, the collection. Dubbed Animal Instinct, one of the most striking features of the offer is the “kaleidoscope of geometric and experimental abstract prints – evoking the flowing forms of camouflage – and the ‘Universal Passport’ graphic” that adorn dresses and shirts and are layered under printed sheer or mesh tops “to create new harmonies of pattern”. Pattern also extends to geometric colour-block intarsia and prints on dresses and oversized sleeveless blazers.
Freedom of movement is a big theme and is “explored though flowing cap-sleeved and halter-neck gowns with thigh-high splits”. Meanwhile, mini dresses come with exaggerated fringing, frills and straps, and — like a number of other labels this season — are paired with oversized jackets to create a silhouette of contrasts.
Creative chief Riccardo Tisci has also deconstructed the brand’s trench coat and rebuilt it “in strong and striking silhouettes that experiment and play with volume”. They’re big on detail with exaggerated lapels, chain-link embellishments, sleeveless proportions and raw hems”. A “sense of fluidity” is brought to the trench and car coat through fluted and oversized sleeves on collarless and hooded shapes, plus capelets that are perforated or trimmed with leather – "reinvigorating the traditional with a twist of youthful energy”.
This deconstruction approach also extends to boxy-fit blazers reworked in sleeveless and backless cuts. Lapels are reconstructed as scarves to wrap over the shoulder and a chest plate with boned corsetry is “subversively recast in smooth leather or as a hoodie in technical neoprene with a peplum hem”.
But alongside the volume and fluidity, there’s also a figure-hugging silhouette in stretch technical materials that “underpins the looks and elevates standalone pieces”. So we see bodysuits and leggings layered with “tactile” mohair-blend capelets and animal-inspired fringing, as well as long-sleeved tops and leggings with porthole cut-outs and more chain-link details.
For bags, the newest piece is the Rhombi, an ellipse-shaped shoulder bag “inspired by the abstract curved prints in the collection”. The structured shape is “sculpted to the body” and features a lightly padded strap with an oversized clasp detail.
DIGITAL AND ANALYTICS
As mentioned, the company has also named its new Chief Digital and Analytics Officer with CP Duggal taking up the role on 30 September.
It’s a brand new post and Duggal will be responsible for “driving Burberry’s digital agenda and leveraging data and analytics to support the company’s strategic ambitions”. With the key role, he also joins the Executive Committee and will report directly to CEO Marco Gobbetti and his successor when the firm names a new chief executive.
Duggal joins after 20 years at American Express where he most recently led the company-wide digital and analytics organisation.
Gobbetti said he “has deep digital and data and analytics expertise and experience of operating on a global basis. His experience of accelerating digital distribution, driving customer acquisition and loyalty, creating award-winning customer website and mobile apps, leveraging AI and analytics and building and leading the Data Office function will be invaluable to Burberry in this next phase”.
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