Burberry plans a ‘phygital’ experience for spring 2021

Burberry has outlined its digital fashion show plans for its coed spring 2021 collection: a digital-facing event to take place on September 17, 2020. Unlike other solely physical or solely digital shows planned for the spring 2021 season, Burberry’s event seems to be a merging of the real and the virtual, with a release promising a “live physical presentation that is open for all to experience digitally.”

Burberry 

Translation: Burberry is likely pursuing a hybrid show that takes place in the real world with elements streamed online to a global audience of viewers. A release describes the event as being situated in nature around Britain—an homage to the house’s outdoorsy heritage courtesy of founder Thomas Burberry.

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“As humans, we have always had a deep affinity to nature. We have had to respect and rely upon its power for our very existence, whilst marveling and revealing in its extraordinary beauty. Especially recently, we have all yearned to reconnect again and for this show, I wanted to celebrate these feelings by bringing our community together in a creative experience that takes place within the beautiful, natural landscape of Britain,” writes chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci in a release.

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As with all of Tisci’s Burberry runway events, the statement explains, this one will be carbon-neutral (though it’s important to note that the metric is the subject of debate). Burberry’s fusion of a physical and digital event is the rare “phygital” show on the fashion schedule so far. While Ermenegildo Zegna has promised a hybrid IRL-digital event in Milan on July 17, many fashion brands are choosing an either/or approach, investing in a three-dimensional event that will be transmitted online through traditional methods (like Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci, which will participate in Milan’s digital Fashion Week this July) or a fully virtual experience that does not mimic the expansiveness of a physical event.