It fought hard to shake off an unfortunate association with ‘chav’ culture. But now Burberry has divided the country into three categories according to how smartly they want to dress.
The luxury fashion house has introduced a new tripartite system, splitting glamour queens who opt for silk catwalk dresses from those more comfortable in scruffy jeans.
Tripartite: Harry Potter actress Emma Watson models Burberry London, left, Burberry Brit and Burberry Prorsurm, rightUnder the categories, high-end, high-cost evening wear for fashion gurus will continue under the label Prorsum, which means ‘forwards’ in Latin.
A new collection called Burberry London will include day time work outfits such as smart tailored suits, dark suede and dense wools.
The name is designed to reflect the clothes’ cosmopolitan feel.
Casual dress including denim and sportswear will be branded Burberry Brit to capture the relaxed, scruffier side of the population.
But after ditching its associations with ‘chav’ icons such as soap star Daniella Westbrook, Burberry’s distinctive house check pattern has been toned down.
An advertising campaign shows Harry Potter actress Emma Watson showcasing all three labels.
The trench coat, which she has modelled, will remain Burberry’s signature item. The categories are currently housed in the same shops, but Burberry is looking for locations for stand-alone stores after launching two in New York this autumn.
Burberry shield: Madonna and boyfriend Jesus prefer to use their trench to hide from paparazziA spokesman insisted: ‘We’re not really talking about appealing to three different markets. This is supposed to be Burberry girl, who can opt for evening, work and weekend wear with clear labels to differentiate them. Some department stores will have three different sections, giving us more space. Burberry is currently looking for locations for stand-alone stores.’
The new categories will signal a fight-back after Burberry announced a 19 per cent drop in profits yesterday, despite a ‘solid’ performance in the UK.
Demand for handbags, ‘sling’ shoulder bags, snoods and scarves helped it to reach pre-tax profits of £78.4m in the six months to September 30 this year.
But the figure is down from £97m last year after the effects of discounts hit profit margins and wholesale orders were reduced.
The luxury fashion house won praise after its return to the catwalk at London Fashion Week this autumn.
It also said it had seen ‘exceptional growth’ in London stores after the weak pound attracted foreign shoppers.
The retailer said its non-clothing ranges represented its biggest growth, contributing more than a third of revenue.
Shoes and childrenswear were also identified as key growth areas, anticipated to grow to make up 10 per cent each of revenues.
The firm, which was founded in 1856, opened a children's store in Notting Hill this year.
Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: ‘Burberry delivered a solid first half performance, reflecting the strength of the brand, business and team.
'We enter the second half confident in our core strategies, capitalising on product, region, channel and operational opportunities.’