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Burberry Staked Its Future on Riccardo Tisci's Designs. We'll Soon Learn if That Was a Smart Move.

This week, everyone will be talking about Burberry's quarterly results, Amazon Prime Day and ComplexCon. Read our BoF Professional Cheat Sheet.
By
  • Brian Baskin
BoF PROFESSIONAL

THE CHEAT SHEET

Burberry's Results Will Finally Reflect Tisci's Impact

Burberry Autumn/Winter 2019 | Source: InDigital.Tv

  • Burberry releases first-quarter results on July 16
  • Last quarter, the brand's revenue fell short of expectations as sales in Asia grew at a sluggish pace
  • Analysts see sales rising faster as more of Riccardo Tisci's designs hit stores
In May, Burberry Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti said it was too early to gauge the impact of Riccardo Tisci’s designs on the bottom line, as his first collection had only just begun to trickle into stores. He won’t have that excuse this week, with JP Morgan estimating 35 percent of products for sale last quarter reflect Tisci’s work, up from 15 percent in the previous quarter. Tisci’s designs have received a decent, if not quite rapturous, reception on the runway, while the revamped monogram is meant to elevate the brand. Burberry has also improved its record on sustainability since it was revealed a year ago the brand was burning unsold goods. JP Morgan predicts same-store sales will grow 3 percent in the most recent quarter, compared with 1 percent in the previous period. However, Asia may still be a sore point; perceptions of Burberry have declined sharply in China, a recent Bernstein survey found. 

The Bottom Line: One area to watch closely in this week's results is leather goods, a perennial weak spot for Burberry that the brand is eager to fix.

Amazon Prime Day Conquered E-Commerce. Will it Conquer Fashion?

Amazon website | Source: Shutterstock

  • Amazon Prime Day runs July 15 and 16; the e-tailer says shopping activity surpasses even Black Friday
  • Deals have centred on electronics in the past, but fashion and beauty sales also spike
  • Hundreds of rival retailers and brands are offering competing deals early next week
Fashion typically exists on the margins of Prime Day, where electronics deals reign supreme. But when it comes to a retailer the size of Amazon, even the margins are quite large. Last year, shoppers bought 5 million fashion and beauty products on Prime Day, according to Edited, a figure all-but-certain to be surpassed this year. Other retailers are getting in on the action — over 250 are expected to offer deals of their own this year, up from 7 in 2015, according to Retailmenot. Target and others are offering discounts of 30 percent or more on a huge variety of items. Amazon doesn’t dominate fashion as it does categories like books or electronics (and potentially, with Lady Gaga on board, beauty). But that is changing, as Prime Day helps cement Amazon as the default shopping destination in consumers’ minds.

The Bottom Line: Many retailers are trying to wean themselves from relying on heavy discounting to move products. Amazon is cleverly undermining these efforts by forcing rivals into a cycle of annual Prime Day-adjacent sales.

Two Conventions Offer Very Different Visions for Fashion

Daniel Jacob's Air Jordan sculptures and jewellery will be among the attractions at ComplexCon | Source: Instagram/@complexcon

  • Streetwear fair ComplexCon hits Chicago July 20-21, featuring streetwear collaborations, drops, art, music and more
  • Complex helped pioneer the consumer-facing fashion event with the first ComplexCon in 2016
  • Comic-Con runs July 18-21 in San Diego

Superheroes' superfans have been gathering for decades to worship their idols, preview upcoming releases and buy plenty of merch at annual conventions. It's a bit surprising that nobody thought to adapt the format to fashion until recently. The gold standard for fashion conventions is ComplexCon, the annual streetwear gathering in Long Beach, Calif. The event has proven so popular — and lucrative for media platform Complex and its owners, Hearst and Verizon — that a second edition is planned in Chicago this week. Today there's a thriving circuit of fashion and beauty-themed conventions, with companies ranging from Sephora to Hypebeast getting in on the act.

Meanwhile, in San Diego, well over 100,000 people are expected at the 50th annual Comic-Con. The event has become an unconventional source of new fashion trends; after all, its Marvel movies are dominating the box office and science fiction offerings like Black Mirror are driving the cultural conversation. There are more ties between ComplexCon and Comic-Con than you'd think; Netflix is sponsoring ComplexCon and will no doubt have a heavy presence at Comic-Con, and hypebeast favourite Nike released tie-in sneakers timed to the release of the latest season of Stranger Things.

The Bottom Line: Packed conventional halls are a sign of the times; as the cultural mainstream fractures, formerly niche subcultures are a source of commerce and inspiration for fashion brands and designers.

Editor's Note: This article was revised on 15 July 2019. A previous version of this article misstated that Burberry had recently set a goal to go carbon neutral by 2022. This is incorrect. Burberry announced this goal in 2017; it recently set new greenhouse-gas emission targets. 

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

The Levi's "batwing" logo T-shirt has become a common sight on city streets worldwide. | Source: Getty Images/Christian Vierig

"Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best." @cointrelle, commenting on "

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