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Burberry the first luxury brand to livestream a runway show on Twitch

Burberry has taken to Twitch to debut its SS21 collection in yet another step towards the fashion’s integration in the world of gaming. 

Acknowledging that Gen Z is predicted to make up 60% of the entire luxury market by 2026, high-end fashion has been flocking to the world of gaming, eager to cash in on what is now a major platform for promoting cultural trends. And, in a move that marks a whole new era for Twitch, Burberry just became the first ever luxury brand to broadcast a runway on the fast-growing live-streaming service.

With the intersection of gaming and fashion steadily gaining traction, it’s become increasingly apparent that the two can go hand in hand in terms of marketing. The ground-breaking partnership – which saw Burberry debut its stunning SS21 collection to 42,000 viewers – was not only a means of adapting to pandemic restrictions, but yet another step towards assimilating the industries for profit.

Streamed in ‘squad mode,’ which allowed viewers to converse through a personal and inclusive chat function, offering a range of perspectives from celebrity hosts including Erykah Badu, Rosalía, and Bella Hadid, the show was a drastic departure from the content Twitch is famous for. Exchanging smash-hit videogames like Call Of Duty and Fortnite for models and breath-taking clothing design (albeit for one hour so not to fear), the platform’s global head of brand partnerships, Adam Harris, felt confident the collaboration would succeed – particularly amongst a younger audience.

‘Gen Z is savvy,’ he says. ‘It’s quite hard to get them to engage with brands and activities, but with Twitch it’s a live community-based experience. People are able to simultaneously watch something and discuss it in real time. This opens up a whole host of opportunities for Burberry.’

Described as a ‘multidimensional virtual experience for unprecedented times,’ the event was certainly a very memorable way to kick of fashion week, especially given that a front row seat in the Burberry tent is normally reserved exclusively for editors of high-profile magazines, A-listers, and influencers. By opening the floor to literally anyone, anywhere (with a decent internet connection) Burberry was able to engage with its community through unique, curated content, making true on a longstanding desire to push the boundaries of digital innovation to connect with consumers.

‘Burberry has always been a brand of firsts and partnering with Twitch continues this legacy,’ says CMO, Rod Manley. ‘Twitch unlocks an exciting new space where our Burberry community can be digitally transported to feel like they have a virtual seat at our live show. It is an interactive experience where guests can connect with both our brand and each other whilst personalising their viewing journey.’

At just under 25 minutes, the performance ran twice as long as your average IRL fashion show, allowing for extended shots of individual looks that made for a refreshingly original take on the medium – one that the industry’s likely to be experimenting with for the foreseeable future. With Twitch at the frontier of live entertainment, the shrewd partnership has proved incredibly transformative for Burberry.