Fashion Retailer H&M Posts Surprise Dec-Feb Profit

The H&M clothing store is seen in Times Square in Manhattan, New York, US, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The H&M clothing store is seen in Times Square in Manhattan, New York, US, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Fashion Retailer H&M Posts Surprise Dec-Feb Profit

The H&M clothing store is seen in Times Square in Manhattan, New York, US, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The H&M clothing store is seen in Times Square in Manhattan, New York, US, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

H&M, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, reported on Thursday a surprise operating profit for the December-February period, despite weak demand as consumers curtailed spending amid soaring inflation.

Operating profit in the Swedish group's fiscal first quarter was 725 million Swedish crowns ($69.73 million) against a profit of 458 million a year earlier and a mean forecast of 1.10 billion loss in a Refinitiv poll of analysts.

The company said consolidating the earnings of its Sellpy second-hand platform had boosted earnings by about 1 billion crowns.

While H&M showed signs of bringing its costs under control, it still struggled to compete with major rival Inditex, owner of Zara and other brands, as well as rapidly expanding fast fashion online retailers such as SHEIN and Temu.

"The external factors that influence purchasing costs continue to improve, work on the cost and efficiency program is proceeding at full speed, and many of the changes that we have made in recent years are starting to have an effect," Chief Executive Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

H&M's first quarter revenue, published separately on March 14, was worse than feared as the small increase in sales missed most estimates, analysts said at the time.

As Inditex lured customers back to in-person shopping after the pandemic, H&M's more cost-conscious base has been reluctant as inflation eats into purchasing power, while SHEIN and Temu won success online with cut-price items such as $10 dresses.



Giorgio Armani Catwalk Blooms with Florals at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco
A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco
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Giorgio Armani Catwalk Blooms with Florals at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco
A model presents a creation from the Giorgio Armani Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection at Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Claudia Greco

Florals bloomed on the catwalk at Giorgio Armani on Sunday, adorning winter outfits and accessories as the veteran Italian designer presented his latest collection for his main line at Milan Fashion Week.
Armani, affectionately known as King Giorgio in Italy, opened the autumn/winter 2024 womenswear show, called "Winter Flowers", with fluid looks in light grey and brown - jackets and trousers, accessorized with floral blue scarves or sashes.
The floral theme was omnipresent in the show with floral prints or embroidery adorning jackets, dresses, blouses, hats and bags.
Floral prints or embroidery in pink, blue and green added color to dark creations in blue or black.
"The flowers are a sign of a better season coming and I really liked the contrast - there are no flowers in winter, I created them," Armani, 89, told reporters.
For the evening, sequined floral embroidery shimmered on jackets, sheer tops and dresses.
Armani closed the show with a selection of strapless frocks with sparkling flower decorations.
The designer presented the latest collection for his second line, Emporio Armani, on Thursday.


Dolce & Gabbana Play with the Tuxedo for Womenswear at Milan Fashion

A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)
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Dolce & Gabbana Play with the Tuxedo for Womenswear at Milan Fashion

A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 24, 2024. (Reuters)

Dolce & Gabbana offered an array of looks inspired by the tuxedo at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday, where the Italian luxury label presented a mainly black womenswear collection for next fall.

The autumn/winter 2024 show, called "Tuxedo", opened with cropped jackets and tied skirts slit at the front, followed by outfits and coats inspired by the formal wear.

Models wore sashes with knee-length shorts or cigarette trousers, halternecks and waistcoats inspired by tuxedo jackets and embroidered lace dresses.

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana put bows on black sheer blouses as well as shoes, sometimes sparkling.

The looks were mainly all in black, with dabs of leopard print, a few shimmering silver creations and a chiffon blouse and dress adorned in large gold polka dot prints.

Models, including Naomi Campbell, wore black hats with netted veils.

Earlier at Ferragamo, designer Maximilian Davis looked to the 1920s for inspiration, presenting dresses with dropped waistlines, feather embellishments or sequins.

Wool jackets and coats with broad shoulders were contrasted with organdie dresses and sheer skirts in the collection called "Spirit", and which featured autumnal hues, bright red, mustard and black. Footwear consisted of thigh-high boots, stilettos and shoes adorned with feathers.

"The 1920s used clothing as a way to celebrate freedom,” Davis said in show notes.

“And that expression of freedom is something which resonates with me, with my heritage, and with Ferragamo.”

Milan Fashion Week runs until Monday.


Anti-fur Activists Target Max Mara, Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
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Anti-fur Activists Target Max Mara, Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
Activists say fur farming is cruel and better alternatives are available. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Animal activists have fashion brands squarely in their sights this Milan Fashion Week, hoping to pressure Italian brands Max Mara and Fendi to give up fur in future collections.
An activist from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stormed the Fendi runway on Wednesday brandishing a sign saying "Animals are NOT clothing".
And a coalition of pro-animal groups stepped up their campaign on Thursday against Max Mara.
Over 1,500 international fashion brands, including some of the most prestigious, have renounced fur in recent years, due to concerns about animal cruelty, changing trends and new synthetic alternatives.
On Thursday, a hot-air balloon with the message "Max Mara Go Fur-Free" floated above the company's headquarters in Emilia Romagna for the second day running.
The stunt was backed by the Fur Free Alliance -- a coalition of over 50 global animal protection associations, including the Humane Society International and Italy's LAV (Anti-Vivisection League) -- which has been targeting Max Mara since earlier this month.
The campaign, involving protests, social media posts, telephone calls and emails, corresponds to the season of fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris running until March 5.
Max Mara -- whose runway show on Thursday did not feature fur -- did not respond to requests for comment from AFP.
Unlike Fendi, which began as a fur line, Max Mara is best known for its luxurious wool and camel hair coats, using fur occasionally as trim on hoods and cuffs.
That means the company could easily stop using fur without affecting its core business, said LAV's Simone Pavesi.
"It's really a question of total indifference. They could resolve it from one season to another," he told AFP.
He added that the fashion house had refused to sit down with animal welfare groups, as many other brands have done.
'Smell of death'
Outside the Max Mara show, Anna Kirichenko, 32, sported a black ski hat prominently decorated with the company's logo, combined with an oversized black faux fur jacket.
"There are so many alternatives, so many young designers who can give us cheaper and better alternatives (to real fur)," Kirichenko said.
"I want to be an example... I don't like the smell of death."
At Fendi, fashion student Elke Orth, 21, said top brands still using fur have oversized influence, even though attitudes among young people have changed.
"They have all the power because everyone wants to be inside that world," she said.
"But if a famous actor or singer says 'I won't go to that show', that would make a big change," she said.
Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Valentino and Versace, are among several prestigious fashion houses who have renounced fur.
"All these companies have seen how unethical and unsustainable fur is," Pavesi said.

Major recalcitrants include France's Louis Vuitton and Hermes.
Activists cite the cruelty inherent in fur farming, in which foxes, minks, chinchillas, rabbits and raccoon dogs are crammed into tiny wire battery cages before being gassed or electrocuted.
Undercover operations have brought to light deplorable conditions in fur farms, sick and stressed animals, and episodes of self-mutilation and infections.
An outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in Dutch mink fur farms in 2020 hastened the scheduled closure of the farms by three years to 2021.
Ethics and 'sustainability'
The fur industry markets its products as environmentally friendly renewable resources -- claims that anti-fur activists refute, citing higher carbon footprints.
Within the European Union, there is no ban on sales of fur, nor any specific animal welfare legislation covering these animals.
California, Israel and certain US cities have banned fur sales.
As of December, 17 of the EU's 27 member countries had adopted full or partial bans on fur farming, with others in the works.
There are currently more than 1,000 fur farms in the EU -- most of them in Finland, Greece and Poland -- which amounts to about 7.7 million animals.
Fur Free Europe collected 1.7 million signatures last year to petition the European Commission to ban fur farming.
In response, the EU's executive asked its food safety agency to conduct an independent review on the protection of fur production animals by March 2025.
By March 2026, the Commission will rule on a potential ban on fur farming and the sale of farmed animal fur products within the EU.
Alternatively, it could adopt "appropriate standards" for better animal welfare practices.
LAV's Pavesi said that as of Wednesday, Max Mara had begun to block critical comments about its use of fur from its Instagram page.
"We have no interest in a pressure campaign," he said.
"We'd prefer to talk with the company, explain our reasons... and convince them to stop using fur."


De Sarno Pursues Gucci Reset with Embellished Coats at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)
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De Sarno Pursues Gucci Reset with Embellished Coats at Milan Fashion Week

A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)
A model presents a creation from the Gucci Fall/Winter 2024 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 23, 2024. (Reuters)

Gucci creative director Sabato De Sarno showed a lineup of ornately decorated wool coats on the catwalk in Milan on Friday, building on his approach for reigniting Kering’s prized label with sensual, pared-back styles.

Models marched down a slightly elevated runway in a sparse, window-lined space parading soft wool coats, long bustier dresses and trim suit jackets cinched with thin belts.

Adding to the chunky loafers, mini-shorts and glossy Jackie handbags that have become label signatures under the new designer's direction were thigh-high riding boots, small purses shaped like half moons, towering platform heels and delicate, see-through dresses with lace.

De Sarno's designs, which have begun trickling into stores, are key to reigniting sales at Gucci, Kering’s largest brand, accounting for half of the French luxury group’s sales and over two thirds of its profit.

The French group recently overhauled top management, sending longtime executive Jean-Francois Palus to Italy to manage the label as it pushes Gucci upmarket.

This consists of emphasizing more classic styles and leather goods in a bid to regain traction after losing ground to rivals like LVMH's Dior and Louis Vuitton.

Stores will not be fully stocked with De Sarno’s styles until later in the year - perhaps by June - but early signs are “very encouraging”, Kering deputy CEO Francesca Bellettini said earlier this month.

The group cautioned that margins will be lower this year as it continues to invest in Gucci.

UBS analysts have flagged early signs of "improving brand heat", noting Gucci is "in a much better place than before,” earlier this month.


New Designers Make a Splash at Moschino, Tod’s and Blumarine during Milan Fashion Week

 Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)
Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)
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New Designers Make a Splash at Moschino, Tod’s and Blumarine during Milan Fashion Week

 Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)
Models present creations from the Moschino Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection during Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, February 22, 2024. (Reuters)

Designers are giving their first impressions at their new fashion houses during Milan Fashion Week.

In a game of musical chairs, Matteo Tamburini showed his first collection for Tod's on Friday just hours before his predecessor there, Walter Chiapponi, made his debut as creative director of Blumarine.

Adrian Appiolaza premiered his first collection for Moschino Thursday evening in a bittersweet moment just a month and a half after being named. His appointment followed the sudden death of David Renne just 10 days into his tenure.

Here are highlights from designer debuts during Milan Fashion Week of mostly womenswear previews for Fall-Winter 2024-25.

TAKING A STAND AT MOSCHINO Having just six weeks to pull together a collection forced Argentinian Appiolaza to be very decisive, creating a collection that he said "didn’t feel too overthought."

He plunged into the archives, taking inspiration from fashion house founder Franco Moschino’s sense of subversion, love of archetypes and trompe l’oeil playfulness.

Appiolaza’s vision invoked a dreaminess. Looks were as if being roused from sleep, and the garments were at times surreal — folded newspaper boat hats, turbans created from shirt sleeves, or a cowboy hat that was unfinished in the back, like a piece of stage scenery seen only from the front. A top was constructed out of men’s ties; a golden bowtie hung sideways as a necklace. Extravagant strands of pearls were worn under a sheer dress.

The feminine silhouette was defined by ruffles, bustles and slip dresses, complemented by men’s vests fitted with garters, oversized cloth shirts and masculine trousers.

"The idea was trying to convey Franco’s universe. It was not really about creating a ready-to-wear collection, but something that told a story," Appiolaza said backstage after the Thursday evening show.

While many brands made circumspect reference to global conflicts, responding mostly with comfort collections of cozy clothes, Appiolaza was more direct, with garments emblazoned with peace signs or the word PEACE written capitals. "I thought it was a good idea to bring peace as a universal message," the designer said.

Closing the show, a Black model wore a top of the Italian tricolor, green, white and red, which Appiolaza said was part of the collection’s message of inclusion. Some social media commentors read it also as a statement about the war in Gaza: the Palestinian flag is green, white, red and black, the black reflected in the closing look’s monochrome skirt and collar detailing on the tricolor top with a trailing tassel. The model carried a piece of bread.

TOD’S FOR THE TRAVELER Matteo Tamburini’s journey with Tod’s departed from a Milan tram depot, with the city’s distinctive vintage orange trams serving as a backdrop.

"We selected this location because it speaks to dynamism, which is closely linked to Tod’s aesthetic. The collection was thought for people who travel, who move in the world," Tamburini said backstage, citing the daytime workhorse Di Bag and the trademark driving moccasin as key starting points.

The mostly monochrome looks featured rich leather dresses, skirts and overcoats, made cozy with layered, twisting knitwear. Trenches were oversized; button-down cotton shirts were layered one over the other; trousers featured deep cuffs, while jacket shoulders were slightly enlarged. Bags were soft, molding into the body. Belts had oblong buckles resembling a vehicle grating. The driving shoe featured long tassels, for movement.

Tamburini said the collection reflects the duality of Milan, at once an expression of the bourgeois and Italy's industrial power.

Tod’s group recently announced an operation to delist the company. Speaking on the sidelines of the show, chairman Diego Della Valle told reporters there was no reason to sell the business after the operation is complete. "We have a family business with young people who want to do this job. What could be better?’’ he asked.

Front-row guests included Chinese actor Xiao Zhan, US actor Larsen Thompson and South Korean singer Jungwoo.

BLUMARINE’S NIGHTTIME PLUNGE Walter Chiopponi took Blumarine back to its romantic rebel days of the 1990s when the star vibes of Chloe Sevigny and Mila Jovovich aligned with the fashion house.

The creative director assembled an array of female codes for his debut collection: bows and lace, animal prints and florals, kitten knits and silk.

The Blumarine girl was wandering home after a night out, at times disheveled in an animal print coat, silken shorts and floral pumps with a tattered bow that looked well walked-in. Full of the emotion of the evening, she held it together in soft pastel knits and floret applique tops and dresses that epitomized femininity. A velour slip dress with lace gloves, and a black lace dress over animal print tights gave boudoir looks the final say.

"The clothes are made by the city," Chiopponi said.


Prada Gives New Meaning to Bows and Aprons, Historic Elements of Women’s Wardrobe, for Next Season 

Models wear creations part of the Prada women's Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented at the Milan's Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, 22 February 2024. (EPA)
Models wear creations part of the Prada women's Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented at the Milan's Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, 22 February 2024. (EPA)
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Prada Gives New Meaning to Bows and Aprons, Historic Elements of Women’s Wardrobe, for Next Season 

Models wear creations part of the Prada women's Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented at the Milan's Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, 22 February 2024. (EPA)
Models wear creations part of the Prada women's Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented at the Milan's Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, 22 February 2024. (EPA)

Don’t call them nostalgic, the bows and aprons, silken slips and hats that filled the Prada runway. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons recovered elements of a women’s wardrobe history and reconstituted them into something “modern.”

“It’s a history of women,” Prada told reporters backstage at the fall-winter 2024-25 preview show on Thursday. This act of reinventing items fished from deep inside the closet “frees them from their cage,” Prada said, giving them new meaning.

The looks are modular. Woolen aprons, facing front or back, partially obscure slip skirts, closing with bows or floral appliques — the silken touches defy the male silhouette. The skirt combos are paired with an accompanying jacket with a silken back panel, or twinsets in bold color combinations, royal red and purple, yesteryear olive and pink.

Shift dresses are covered in the front with wispy, monochrome tabs that flutter with each step. Masculine elements include skirts cuffed at the hem and Varsity letter jacket emblazoned with a “P” for wannabe athletes that never made the cut. Cocktail dresses feature big bows and a fur collar.

The color palette is mostly dark neutral, punctuated by colorful hats in aubergine or turquoise that elongate the form. In velvet they have the feeling of a Beehive, covered with feathers of a mod 1960s brushed do. The Prada Cleo bag has an oversized shoulder strap. Bags also fasten to the wrist with a leather strap.

“I always choose to work with pieces from history because for me history teaches us everything, in every field from politics to fashion to art. Anything we are comes from our past,” Prada said.

The show, she said, was meant as a gesture of “goodness,” something needed as an antidote to aggression, “especially in these times.” In that vein, models walked with their hands clutching their breasts, in a protective gesture.

“Fashion is also about love,” Simons added. “The love of beauty, the love of history.”

Emma Watson, Tracy Ellis Ross and Gwendoline Christie took front-row seats in the Prada showroom, perched above a plexiglass runway covering scattered fall leaves.


Milan Fashion Week Fires Up Catwalks despite Cautious Outlook

Milan is back in the limelight with the start of its Fashion Week, with 56 runway shows planned. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP
Milan is back in the limelight with the start of its Fashion Week, with 56 runway shows planned. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP
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Milan Fashion Week Fires Up Catwalks despite Cautious Outlook

Milan is back in the limelight with the start of its Fashion Week, with 56 runway shows planned. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP
Milan is back in the limelight with the start of its Fashion Week, with 56 runway shows planned. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

The fashion set moves to Italy Wednesday for Milan Fashion Week, marked by a new designer at Moschino but held amid an uncertain outlook for luxury.
The women's runway shows from Fendi, Prada, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, among many others, promise a dose of festivity and froufrou in Italy's northern fashion capital, AFP said.
Following fashion weeks in New York and London, Milan again has its moment in the limelight, with 56 runway shows through Sunday on its Fall/Winter 2024-2025 calendar.
But they come amid a backdrop of uncertainty in the global luxury fashion market.
Muted growth projections, inflation concerns, an economic slowdown in China and geopolitical risk loom large for the sector expected to expand globally by just three to five percent this year, according to McKinsey's State of Fashion report published in November.
That is below an estimated five to seven percent for 2023.
Italy's fashion sector -- which includes clothing and leather, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and accessories -- grew four percent to nearly 103 billion euros ($110 billion) last year, according to estimates from the National Chamber for Italian Fashion.
The association's head, Carlo Capasa, said it was too early to know how 2024 will bode for the industry.
"It's a complex year, it will take resilience," Capasa told journalists earlier this month.
"We know there are three wars, European and US elections. It's a year of transition."
Glitterati gather
But frayed nerves are rarely on display in the front rows, as the glitterati gather for the jam-packed week of fashion's finest.

More than 100,000 people, including buyers, media and brand representatives, are expected for Fashion Week, a rise of 10 percent over last February, Capasa said.
High on the list for fashion watchers will be the debut collection on Thursday of Adrian Appiolaza for Moschino.
The Argentine designer, previously at Loewe, was named creative director of the irreverent, pop-influenced brand last month after his predecessor died just 10 days into the job.
Gucci veteran Davide Renne, who died in November, had been brought in after Jeremy Scott stepped down after a decade at the helm.
Founded by Franco Moschino, the label is known for playful, quirky creations often embellished with slogans -- such as "Gilt without Guilt" or "Good Taste Doesn't Exist" -- or riffing on iconic consumer brands from McDonald's to Barbie.
Debut collections are also expected from Walter Chiapponi at Blumarine -- the flirty, jeans-heavy brand previously led by Nicola Brognano -- and Matteo Tamburini at Tod's.
Chiapponi had been artistic director at Tod's since 2019, and when he left he was replaced by Tamburini, most recently head of ready-to-wear for Bottega Veneta.


Burberry Presents Star-studded Moody Autumnal Collection

A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Burberry Presents Star-studded Moody Autumnal Collection

A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A person walks past a Burberry store undergoing refurbishment on New Bond Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Burberry's creative director, Daniel Lee, on Monday showed his third brief at London Fashion Week, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, with an ode to the brand's outdoor heritage for the luxury house's autumn-winter 2024 collection.
Set in a dark marquee in London's Victoria Park where guests sat on big fluffy brown cushions, songs from late British singer Amy Winehouse set the mood for the night.
The star-studded show was attended by actress Olivia Coleman, US Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, model Jourdan Dunn, and Irish actor Barry Keoghan among others, Reuters.
Monday's show heavily featured outerwear and sporty silhouettes with bomber jackets and Burberry's iconic trench coat that sat alongside flowy beaded and velvet dresses.
It noticeably lacked the brand's new signature 'Knight Blue', the same color featured in its "takeover" of British department store Harrods this month.
Models walked down a grass runway on chunky-soled leather boots, parading leather and faux-fur coats in shades of muted green and brown, oversized stripy suit jackets and trousers with sipper detailing.
British models Naomi Campbell, Agyness Deyn and Lily Cole were among those sashaying on the catwalk.
Burberry's famous beige, black and red check was reimagined into the moody Autumnal color palette and featured on the inside of floor-sweeping skirts with long slits down the side.
Accessories included checked umbrellas, large canvas, leather and faux-fur bags in cream, brown and green - often adorned with gold detailing - and paired with scarves worn over the head.
Lee, who was behind the revamp of Italian fashion brand Bottega Veneta, is facing pressure to produce a winning collection for Burberry which is battling a slowdown in demand for luxury goods.
The 168-year-old company issued a warning on its profits in January, a setback for Chief Executive Jonathan Akeroyd who is seeking to reposition the brand as "modern British luxury".


Naomi Campbell Walks for Star-studded Burberry Show at London Fashion Week

Naomi Campbell. (Getty Images)
Naomi Campbell. (Getty Images)
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Naomi Campbell Walks for Star-studded Burberry Show at London Fashion Week

Naomi Campbell. (Getty Images)
Naomi Campbell. (Getty Images)

For Londoners, rain is simply a fact of life. But for Burberry, it’s the inspiration for seemingly endless variations of luxurious outerwear, from the heritage brand’s best-selling trench coat to oversized duffels and fur-lined bombers.
The British fashion house showcased its latest designs Monday at London Fashion Week to a soulful Amy Winehouse soundtrack interspersed with a woman’s voice saying “I love London ... the smell of London when it rains.”
“Saltburn” star Barry Keoghan and “The Crown” actress Olivia Coleman were among celebrities who turned up on the VIP front row to watch the show, which drew heavily on the heritage house’s military history and its signature check print, The Associated Press said.
Models wore double-breasted coats buttoned all the way up to the neck, as if bracing against the inclement British weather. Some donned mannish, oversized coats in military greens and browns paired with matching wide-leg trousers, while others covered up with an elegant silk scarf wrapped around the head.
Some models even strutted down the catwalk clutching a collapsible umbrella – in Burberry’s trademark check, of course.
It’s no surprise that the elements feature so prominently in the show. The fashion house’s founder, Thomas Burberry, invented the fabric gabardine, a breathable material used for rainwear, in the late 1800s. The brand’s trench coat, invented around the time of World War I, boasts functional designs like storm shields as well as epaulettes and gun flaps.
It’s not all function and practicality. Flashes of cherry red tartan, used in the lining of a coat or glimpsed in a skirt hem, brightened up a muted palette dominated by khaki and earthy tones. Tough bomber jackets and bulky duffel coats were softened with furry hoods or collars and luxurious fur accessories.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell, sashaying in a shimmering bronze strapless column gown, rounded out the show.
Burberry is traditionally the glitziest event at London Fashion Week, which also features catwalk shows by designers including Erdem, JW Anderson, Roksanda Ilincic and Molly Goddard.
The London displays wrap up on Tuesday, when the fashion crowd decamps to Milan Fashion Week for more new season runway shows.

 

 


London Fashion Week Show at British Museum Irks Greece

Designer Erdem Moralioglu chose the impressive setting of the Athens Parthenon sculptures showroom at the British Museum. HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP
Designer Erdem Moralioglu chose the impressive setting of the Athens Parthenon sculptures showroom at the British Museum. HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP
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London Fashion Week Show at British Museum Irks Greece

Designer Erdem Moralioglu chose the impressive setting of the Athens Parthenon sculptures showroom at the British Museum. HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP
Designer Erdem Moralioglu chose the impressive setting of the Athens Parthenon sculptures showroom at the British Museum. HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP

The Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, expressed her anger late on Saturday after a London Fashion week show took place in front of the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum.
Designer Erdem Moralioglu chose the impressive setting of the Athens Parthenon sculptures showroom at the British Museum to present the autumn winter 2024 collection of his eponymous brand Erdem, inspired by Greek singer Maria Callas and her interpretation of the opera Medea in 1953, AFP said.
"By organizing a fashion show in the halls where the Parthenon Sculptures are exhibited, the British Museum, once again, proves its zero respect for the masterpieces of Pheidias," Mendoni said in a statement.
"The directors of the British Museum trivialize and insult not only the monument but also the universal values that it transmits. The conditions of display and storage of the sculptures, at the Duveen Gallery, are constantly deteriorating. It is time for the stolen and abused sculptural masterpieces to shine in the Attic light," she added.
The sculptures were taken from the Parthenon temple at the Acropolis in Greece in the early 19th century by British diplomat Thomas Bruce, the earl of Elgin.
Athens maintains the marbles, which are a major draw for visitors at London's British Museum, were stolen, while the UK claims they were obtained legally.
The 1963 British Museum Act prohibits the removal of objects from the institution's collection.
But officials at the museum, which is under pressure to repatriate other foreign antiquities, have not ruled out a possible loan deal.
Late November, a diplomatic spat raised eyebrows when Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his "displeasure" over UK counterpart Rishi Sunak's last minute cancellation of a bilateral meeting set to discuss their long-running dispute over the Parthenon Marbles.
At issue for London was the Greek leader's comments in a BBC interview a day before the meeting about ownership of the 2,500-year-old marbles.
Sunak was allegedly angry about Mitsotakis's comments that having some of the marbles in London and others in Athens was like cutting the Mona Lisa in half.