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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Thursday's Connector: Burberry

February 22nd, 2010
03:18 PM ET

Their checkered pattern is instantly identifiable around the world - it's a fact that fashion house Burberry is very proud of.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/22/burberry.blog.gi.jpg caption ="Celebrities enjoying a Burberry fashion show."]

The British label was founded in the mid-19th century by 21-year-old Thomas Burberry as a store that sold outdoor garments and fabrics.

After establishing stores in London, the brand eventually evolved into a luxury label that focused heavily on developing it's tartan pattern on hand bags, outerwear and scarves.

Today, the company is worth nearly $2 billion and has stores in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey has helped to rejuvenate the historic company, recruiting younger stars to advertise the brand - most notable is Emma Watson.

The company also has a strong social media presence on networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

At this year's London Fashion Week, the company broadcast their catwalk show by using 3D technology.

Tune in on Thursday night at 2100 GMT to see if your question to Bailey was answered.

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. KETEVAN KARDAVA

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    February 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  2. Keira

    Hello all,

    I would like to know if they would ever consider making their merchandise more 'affordable' or has their clientele remained unaffected by the downward economy?

    I've been to their NYC store and at the time umbrellas were $75. A bit much considering the $75 umbrella can break as easily as the $10 ones...just saying! 😉

    February 23, 2010 at 1:05 am | Reply
  3. hideaki nagano

    I think envy.I think stories fit for it.

    February 23, 2010 at 2:42 am | Reply
  4. harriet r

    Just heard burberry are going to screen a catwalk show in 3D at london fashion week – amazing, yet another fashion foot forward from burberry!

    February 23, 2010 at 11:59 am | Reply
  5. Lucie Bartlett

    I have just chosen Burberry as a focus for a brand strategy marketing course at the London College of Fashion and would love to hear Christopher and Angela's thoughts on their recent change of brand ambassadors to be the faces of the brand.

    Was the (in my mind, inspired) appointment of Emma Watson, her brother Alex and other young faces of the music/fashion industries a conscious decision to market the brand to a younger audience demographic? And if so, have you seen any positive results yet?

    Thanks, looking forward to the piece. Lucie

    February 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  6. Nigel

    Why do you think your brand is especially adored by what the british people call, "chavs"?

    February 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  7. David R.

    The volume of counterfeit Burberry products leads many people (myself included) to assume that a Burberry accessory is counterfeit until proven otherwise. The sheer number of people walking around in their sweat shirts and ratty pants while toting their Burberry knockoff bags undermines the brand's image.

    Given this significant dilution, why should we continue to pay high prices for products like Burberry or Louis Vuitton that are beginning to become stigmatized in this way?

    February 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  8. Steven Papadakis

    What do you think are the key elements to building a powerful brand like Burberry AND sustaining it longterm? If you had to start from scratch to build a brand new brand where would what 3 main things would you absolutely focus on?

    February 23, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  9. Steve

    Any new fragrances? Brit is my absolute favourite.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:06 am | Reply
  10. marion

    Why do you make a lot of your things in CHINA? Why would I or anyone want to pay a lot of money for something made in CHINA? I think this is disgusting. I'm sure your profit margins are delightful. Ugh!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:47 am | Reply
  11. Rohan Monga

    Mine is a strategic question about Japan.

    Japan contributes a strong portion of group EBIT, but Burberry is definitely not a "luxury" brand here, and more a "mass premium" brand, especially with its Blue and Black labels. Do you have any plans to change this image, given Japan is the epicenter of global luxury revenues?

    February 24, 2010 at 9:13 am | Reply
  12. JOHN

    WHY DIDN'T THEY STAY IN THE UK – WHY CHINA??

    February 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  13. William Hwang

    When will you be making a purse that doubles as a thong for men?

    February 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  14. Hye-Shin Kim

    I was wondering whether we could get your thoughts on whether you think consumers' perceptions concerning the brand's prestige, quality, and image can change based on where the products are manufactured ... especially since it is a luxury brand. Is Burberry sensitive to these issues? Also, how is the brand doing in today's world economy?

    February 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  15. Kim

    What major factors do you think contribute to the growing success of the Burberry label and how do you plan on continuing that success?

    February 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  16. Ally

    Would Burberry ever consider doing a more budget conscious line like Anna Sui for Target, or Norma Kamali for Walmart?

    February 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  17. Ella

    I've heard that Burberry is doing well lately. I'm sure that is due to Bailey's designs and the models' (most notably Emma Watson) appeal. As Emma Watson's contract is ending in July, are you renewing her contract or are you planning to bring in someone new?

    If you are bringing someone new, will you be looking for more new/young faces? There are rumours that Saorise Ronan, Kristen Stewart, Bonnie Wright or Frieda Pinto could be the new face. Furthermore, if you think that Emma Watson did help broaden your appeal among the younger generation, why did you not renew her contract? There were a lot of people disappointed that Emma did not show up at the recent show in London.

    February 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  18. Terrance

    Were you surprised by the success of Emma Watson in your last 2 campaigns? Since they were considered a success will you be keeping her on as the face? She has a growing support in the US -helped by her decision to attend Brown University. Rumors are that you will be seeking an American face to reach a new market of buyers.

    February 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  19. Dags Alex

    I tink burberry is movin 2 d next level nd in next generation burberry wil b wel kwn in Africa mostly Nigeria.

    February 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  20. Vashti

    Burbery undoubtedly has won the hearts of many both young and old but the increased counterfeit products of burbery would affect the industry. What measures are being put in place to prevent counterfeit products?

    February 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  21. Megan

    Please tell me Emma Watson's contract isn't up! Ugh! It just made my day when I opened my Vanity Fair cover and saw Emma in that lilac trench.

    But if she is done, thank you for the beautiful pictures. It's been a fun ride.

    PS nobody in London can compared to her (hint,hint new contract!)

    February 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  22. Mac

    Personally if i wanted to buy a shirt i would always go for a checkers, and you guys know the art well. The colors are matured yet with a young feeling. Now my question if i wanted to start a burberry outlet in Africa and i was serious what do i do.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  23. daniel

    u are my role morden and i will like to be like u. pls tell me what it takes

    February 25, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  24. Benjamin

    Keep it up

    February 28, 2010 at 7:00 am | Reply
  25. Naomi rosenhaus

    What is one item of merchandise you would like to sell but never have?

    March 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Reply
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