At this point, we expect a certain amount of theatrics at major fashion events, but Burberry has blown those expectations out of the water. The opening of Burberry's new Shanghai store was nothing short of mesmerizing, thanks to a beautiful backdrop, some strategically placed wires, and more than a few classic Burberry ensembles.
Though Burberry has already opened several stores in Shanghai, its new Kerry Center location was designed to be a higher profile site that will boost interest in the brand among Burberry's Shanghai-based consumers. In an interview with Women's Wear Daily, chief creative officer Christopher Bailey stated:
“We see an appetite for a consumer loving what we stand for in terms of heritage and history. Something that has traditional roots, yet something that is moving forward... There is a strong history in China, but it is moving forward very fast. That reflects our DNA. There is a natural symmetry with our brand and what is happening in China.”
The entire show was like an incredibly chic sequel to Rihanna's 2007 hit "Umbrella," from the dancers who performed onstage in Burberry trench coats and umbrellas to a cloud-infused backdrop made to look like the Shanghai skyline. And Cara Delevingne took to the skies, or at least the ceiling, as she floated in midair with a checkered Burberry umbrella leading the way.
In addition to the optical spectacle of the Burberry opening, guests were also treated to a specially written song co-created by Ed Harcourt and Paloma Faith entitled "You Can't Stop the Rain" and a performance by Brit George Ezra. Burberry used messaging app WeChat to include fans of the label who couldn't attend the star-studded event. Users of WeChat were encouraged to explore London and Shanghai with 3D images of the two cities, a theme that also played out on the makeshift runway at the Shanghai store. The intent was clearly to make sure that no one in China will forget Burberry's signature weather gear anytime soon.