Last week Martin Margiela released a statement about the communication landscape today upon winning the Jury Prize at the Belgian Fashion Awards that gave pause.
I also regretted the overdose of information carried by social media, destroying the ‘thrill of wait’ and cancelling every effect of surprise, so fundamental for me.
A profound statement that many a publication chose to run without questioning if this was indeed true. Or simply that innovators have yet to leverage the tools appropriately to augment the ‘thrill of wait.’ Thankfully the house of Burberry has given The Impression the excuse this week to make a counter point via the announcement of their monthly product releases on the 17th day of every month entitled the B Series.
The series follows Burberry’s first capsule release on the 17th of September. Each month a capsule collection that will range in scale and availability, designed by the fashion house’s Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci, will be released on the 17th day as part of its plans to excite customers with new deliveries and frequent communication. The B Series will launch with a limited-edition run of a unisex white T-shirt and jersey sweatshirt featuring Burberry’s new TB monogram in red that was teased via social channels on celebrities seen wearing the TB monogram including Rihanna, The Weeknd, M.I.A, Irina Shayk, Dua Lipa, Tom Hardy, Chris Lee, Zhou Dongyu and Lily James. The monthly release gives Burberry the opportunity to tease out select items and drum up ongoing excitement for the house, a gameplan that Tisci has promised and so far been delivering against.
The best example of how innovative Burberry is to leverage the ‘Art of the Tease’ via digital was their short film released a week ahead of the debut fashion show in September. The film is as close to an outtake from the television series The Office as fashion has ever done. A cameraman rides the lift at Burberry’s corporate office probing for details about the forthcoming show to unsuspecting fellow elevator riders. While they are aware they are being filmed, all live by the rule of ‘snitches get stitches’ including Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci and CEO Marco Gobbetti who have some fun with it. The film is genius in its concept, cost, editing, sense of humor, and most importantly, the art of teasing.
Digital is simply a tool to tease, not the killjoy of it. It doesn’t destroy the surprise, it can however be leveraged to amplify it. Digital builds awareness, it is a global watercooler, and if leveraged appropriately can be the strongest tool the fashion industry has ever been handed to build the thrill of the wait. As Burberry is doing here Inside The Lift . . . just . . . wait for it . . .