London (AFP) – Burberry’s outgoing head said Monday he was dedicating his final collection to gay rights campaigns and models at London Fashion Week will wear the brand’s classic tartan weave in the colours of the rainbow flag.
“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,” Christopher Bailey said in a statement.
“There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity.”
The company said its new “rainbow check” pattern in the colours of the internationally-recognised gay pride flag would feature “prominently” at Bailey’s last catwalk show at London Fashion Week on Saturday.
Burberry said it would also be making donations to three gay rights charities: the Albert Kennedy Trust, the Trevor Project and ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association).
The Albert Kennedy Trust helps homeless young gay people in Britain, while the Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention in the United States and the ILGA is an umbrella body.
Bailey, who is credited with transforming Burberry into a fashion powerhouse, was the first openly gay head of a company on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index when he was appointed chief executive in 2014.
The company, where sales are now stagnating after a period of rapid expansion under Bailey’s leadership, replaced him as chief executive last year with Marco Gobbetti, former head of French luxury brand Celine.
Bailey will be stepping down from his other roles as president and chief creative officer this year.