Is Burberry's first Facebook Live catwalk show just 'fashion spam'?

Burberry will embrace real-time fashion during London Fashion Week for the first time, selling its wares straight off the runway and streaming its show on 19 September live on Facebook.

Burberry: will stream its first 'seasonless' fashion show live on Facebook
Burberry: will stream its first 'seasonless' fashion show live on Facebook

The luxury brand will also stream its show live on YouTube and on Chinese messaging service WeChat. 

Burberry is celebrating the evolution to "seasonless" fashion shows, launching a teaser campaign last month. 

The changes mean that, for the first time, the brand will merge its men and womenswear shows, and make the items available to buy straight off the catwalk.

Burberry has released more images ahead of its London Fashion Week show on 19 September

Burberry was the first major fashion house to announce the shift to a "see now, buy now" model, and rivals are already following suit. During New York Fashion Week last week, Tommy Hilfiger livestreamed its extravaganza show starring Gigi Hadid and allowed consumers to buy clothes straight off the runway. Ralph Lauren did the same.

Not everyone is happy about the shift, with some designers mourning the democratisation of fashion.

Speaking to the BBC, Patrick Grant, creative director of Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, said: "Fashion has become very noisy. It used to be a world of allure, refinement and scarcity.

"Now you see images everywhere, there's fashion spam everywhere. And what this has done is turned brands like Ralph Lauren and Burberry into QVC. It's totally democratised."

Grazia editor Natasha Pearlman noted, however, that fashion brands need to serve consumers, who are clamouring for more immediate access to new lines.

"You're responding to what the consumer wants, and the consumer drives profits," she said.

Grant lamented the arrival of formerly inaccessible brands onto social media, describing contemporary fashion as a "huge commercial juggernaut".

Burberry has arguably led this democratisation of British fashion. The brand is ubiquitous on London billboards, and has wholly embraced digital marketing.

But that has come at a cost, with creative chief Christopher Bailey under both creative and commercial pressure. He will step back from the chief executive role, replaced by Marco Gobbetti, currently the chairman and chief executive of LVMH-owned luxury brand Celine.

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