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Burberry shows support for LGBTQ+ communities via designs, donations

February 12, 2018

Christopher Bailey is hanging up his hat at Burberry. Image courtesy of Burberry


British fashion house Burberry’s Christopher Bailey is dedicating his final runway collection for the brand to organizations that provide outreach for LGBTQ+ individuals.

On the runway for its February 2018 show, the brand will debut a new rainbow-hued version of its iconic check pattern, referencing the gay pride flag. Ahead of his departure, Mr. Bailey is ensuring his last designs make more than a fashion statement.

“My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to - and in support of - some of the best and brightest organizations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world,” said Mr. Bailey, president and chief creative officer at Burberry, in a statement. “There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity.”

Rainbow connection
The rainbow is used by LGBTQ+ communities as a symbol of hope and inclusiveness. In Burberry’s new designs, multicolored stripes are interspersed with its traditional camel, black, white and red check pattern.

Items featuring the Rainbow check will be available for purchase immediately following Burberry’s runway show on Feb. 17.

Burberry's Rainbow check. Image courtesy of Burberry

Making the statement of support through more than design, Burberry is also donating to three organizations that support the LGBTQ+ population: the Albert Kennedy Trust, the Trevor Project and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

The U.K.’s Albert Kennedy Trust focuses its work on preventing homelessness among LGBT youth, while the Trevor Project aims to prevent suicide. ILGA works to secure equal rights for and end discrimination against LGBTI individuals.

After 17 years at the helm of British fashion house Burberry, Mr. Bailey will be stepping down as president and chief creative officer this year.

Mr. Bailey will exit his executive roles and his position on the brand’s board at the end of March, and will continue to help with the transition until the end of 2018. Credited with transforming Burberry from an outerwear company to a fully fledged fashion label, Mr. Bailey was also instrumental in driving the brand’s recent digital innovations (see story).