Classic style - why not share it?

As a self-professed lifelong Burberry geek, one may argue that I am inherently biased, and I will agree that my natural inclination towards  the tan tartan allows me to blatantly ignore some of the sartorial snafus that come down the runway and the speculation over the past years about the fashion house’s antiquity.

Under the leadership of Rose Marie Bravo (CEO 1997-2005), Angela Ahrendts (CEO 2006-present) and Christopher Bailey (Creative Director, 2001-2009; CCO 2009-present), however, Burberry has rebounded from a luridly expensive company manufacturing dowdy raincoats back to its position as the pinnacle of British luxury, and its innovation still isn’t stopping.

As part of the pack of designers debuting their Spring/Summer 2010 collections live and online, Burberry is clearly no stranger to the opportunities afforded by the Internet, and with ArtoftheTrench.Com, they’re clearly capitalizing on the rise of social media.  And why not?  

After 700,000 Facebookers tuned in for the fashion show online, Bailey began to wonder about how far fans will go to interact with the brand, and this website will provide the industry with an answer.

In a society plagued with different outlets for social networking, ArtoftheTrench.Com will undoubtedly be just another site in the million each user is plugged into; in the luxury industry, this is not only a step into the present, but also a step into the future.

Companies providing opulent products have been facing a world where an individual’s personal style, not checkbook, has become the standard of homage, and consumers are more likely to favor a blogger’s quirky mix of DIY, vintage and department store finds than a model trussed up in head-to-toe couture.  Fashion Weeks round the world make headlines twice a year, but every day, a new fashion diarist gains dozens, hundreds, thousands of followers.  How do fashion houses, with their standard prices miles above what the average shopper is willing to spend, continue to make a splash in the mundane months where sky-high shoes cannot be streamed off of Style.Com?

Obviously, by becoming part of the everyday toodle-do.  As any person will admit, part of a fashion magazine’s allure  are the glossy pages of design porn, a fashion designer’s charm lies in his or her ability to create something wearable, be it working or whimsy, and today’s fashion blogger is revered for his or her singularity.  Burberry and ArtoftheTrench.Com combine the three by liberally tiling Scott Schuman‘s street photos of-what else?-the trenchcoat, photo galleries of fans themselves in trenches, and member profiles and comments.

It isn’t anything groundbreaking, but that the highest of the high in the fashion world is admitting that it needs to rely on the ordinary fashion appreciator and is happily seeking feedback is a humble strategy that will undoubtedly produce great results for Burberry.