By  on April 12, 2010

Burberry may be leading the fashion charge in social media, with one million–plus Facebook fans, 3-D live-streaming of the autumn Prorsum collection and a slick Web site where brand lovers can talk trenchcoats 24/7, but it’s when Christopher Bailey heads home to Yorkshire, England, that he realizes Burberry’s future customers are a step ahead: “My 13-year-old nephew, Matthew, is gaming live with people around the world, people he knows by name and refers to as ‘my mates’—it’s normal for him,” he says.

“That generation is global—it’s a generation that lives online,” continues the 38-year-old Bailey, chief creative officer at Burberry and a driving force—along with chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts—behind Burberry’s digital crusade. “I didn’t grow up like that, but I am interested in that world, and excited by it.” The designer is a self-confessed gadget fanatic whose stash of iPhone apps includes a British Airways automatic check-in, cooking tips from Jamie Oliver, Sky News alerts and a direct line to Christie’s, where he can bid for his favorite 17th-century furniture, which is “rustic—not posh,” he laughs.

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