On the 17th February - right in the middle of LGBT History Month - Christopher Bailey is planning to use his last show as president and chief creative officer of Burberry to celebrate LGBTQ+ people.
‘My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to - and in support of - some of the best and brightest organisations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world,’ says Bailey. ‘There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity.’
Teasing the forthcoming London Fashion Week presentation, Burberry made the announcement with a square cutting of a rainbow check. Merging the signature stamp of the British heritage label with the emblem of the community’s struggles and triumph hints at how key this concept is to the collection. In keeping with the label’s see-now-buy-now model, which Bailey instigated in September 2016, this check will be available for purchase straight after the show finishes.
It’s not just through clothes that the label plans to champion the community. A combination of initiatives and donations to charities like Albert Kennedy Trust, ILGA and the Trevor Project, aim to raise awareness and support LGBTQ+ people.
As Christopher Bailey gees up to officially leave the house after 17-years of service on the 31st of March, questions around his legacy are sure to surface. What stamp did he put on British fashion? What mark has his designs left on the world? At the very least, this final swan-song will become collector's items destined for the storied hallows of fashion institutions like the V&A.