Burberry president and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey has created a special rainbow version of the signature Burberry check for his final collection for the British luxury house, which is part of a series of initiatives to champion and support LGBTQ+ communities.
The LGBTQ+ rainbow, an emblem for optimism and inclusiveness, will feature prominently across the brand’s February 2018 collection, with pieces from the collection available for purchase immediately after the show in London on Saturday 17 February.
In addition the fashion house has made donations to three charities – the Albert Kennedy Trust, the Trevor Project and ILGA – all dedicated to broadening the awareness, mentoring and resources available around the world.
“My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to – and in support of – some of the best and brightest organisations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world. There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity,” said Bailey.
Tim Sigsworth, chief Executive of the Albert Kennedy Trust, a national youth homelessness charity, said he was “overjoyed” with the donation, which would help prevent LGBT+ homelessness in the UK. “24% of the 150,000 young people facing homelessness in the UK identify as LGBT+ after experiencing abuse and rejection just for being brave enough to come out to their families,” Sigsworth said.
“Burberry’s donation will support our ongoing work to provide safe homes and support to young people, grow our youth engagement programme and fund our plans to bring AKT to more cities to reach the most vulnerable people across the country,” he added.
The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. Its CEO Amit Paley said: “Burberry’s generous donation will make a transformational difference in growing the Trevor Project’s life-saving work for LGBTQ youth.”
IGLA is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), which is a worldwide federation of organisations committed to equal human rights for LGBTI people. ‘‘We are happy to receive this generous donation from Burberry, a company that has recently strengthened its commitment to LGBTI rights by publicly supporting the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business,” senior development officer J Andrew Baker said.
Bailey revealed last autumn that he would be leaving Burberry after 17 years with the house. He stands down from its board next month and will remain with the business for a transitional period until the end of the year. A successor has yet to be named, but names in the frame include Céline creative director Phoebe Philo who steps down next month after Paris Fashion Week and former Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director Kim Jones who showed his last collection for the house last month. Coach creative director Stuart Vevers is also believed to be under consideration.