By and  on October 22, 2008

BEVERLY HILLS — Just in time for fall, Burberry’s flagship here has a fresh look.

An overhaul of the 7,379-square-foot boutique on Wilshire Boulevard has been completed, reflecting the British brand’s new design concept, developed by creative director Christopher Bailey. The interior now features floor-to-ceiling black chrome, signature Burberry check dividing screens, Venetian plaster finished walls and custom rugs and furniture designed by Bailey. The remodeled store facade is Burberry check-on-check concrete.

The redesign took about nine months and is Burberry’s first flagship to feature the new aesthetic. The seven-year-old retail space previously had been divided into several small rooms, and with a more traditional wood and cream color palette.

“We needed to give a modern point of view and open the space,” Bailey said. “It was divided into so many little rooms.”

To celebrate the relaunch, Bailey and Mario Testino, who shot the Burberry Autumn Winter 2008-09 advertising campaign last week, were hosts for a party at the flagship Monday night that was replete with stars, including Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler, Maria Bello, Kate Beckinsale, Ryan Gosling and Dustin Hoffman.

“I love the idea that you don’t have to wear an entire branded look, which is so common these days,” Tyler said. “You can take individual pieces and incorporate them and it’s still recognizable, but you can still maintain very much your own sense of style.”

Despite the evening’s festive tone, the financial crisis loomed over the event. But Bailey said the makeover and launch of the retail concept was necessary.

Even in a recession “you need to keep moving forward and stick with your vision,” he said. “You, of course, have to be sensitive of the moment but don’t let it stop your development. It’s important to keep rejuvenating and rethinking to make sure the brand stays fresh.”

The store, which stayed open during the renovation, is next to a Niketown store and across from Barneys New York. It now has a VIP lounge with iPod docks and plasma screen televisions, as well as separate men’s and women’s lounges.

The renovation also was a way to place more focus on the luxury brand’s studio services division, which handles Hollywood tie-ins and dresses celebrities for red-carpet events, among other things.

The flagship carries the full lines of ready-to-wear for men and women from the Burberry Prorsum and Burberry London collections as well as a full assortment of accessories, including handbags, sunglasses and shoes.

Another West Coast change for Burberry is also in the works — a reopening at South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa later this month when the existing store moves to a bigger, 5,500-square-foot space in a different location. The store, built with the new retail look —­ lacquer polished black chrome and dark wood floors —­ will carry the full collection of women’s and men’s wear as well as fragrances and accessories.

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