ALL LINED UP: Burberry has inked a deal with the Japanese technology firm Line to live stream its runway shows onto smartphones in the Japanese market. The deal is a first for Burberry in Japan, where the company is reshaping its image and distribution.

The brand will take its Japanese business in-house in June, upgrading its offer and bringing the collections in line with its worldwide offer. Burberry has also signed a new license with Sanyo Shokai Ltd. for separate and unbranded Blue and Black label collections, targeted at a younger audience.

Burberry currently has 16 stores in the region and opened the latest one in Omotesando, Tokyo in November 2014.

The first show to be live streamed with Line will be the Burberry Prorsum women’s collection on Feb. 23.

Burberry’s chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey said the company has long admired Line for its “innovation and creativity. This exciting collaboration will help us share our rich heritage and culture of design by building a very personal relationship with audiences inJapan,” he said.

Burberry has also collaborated with Line to create a series of digital stickers, with the Line cartoon characters Cony and Brown dressed in Burberry trench coats and cashmere scarves, designed for the platform. The stickers will be available exclusively to Line users in Japan from mid-February.

Akira Morikawa called the Burberry deal “a huge step for Line, as it continues to grow its brand and expand globally.” He said the aim is to connect “an increasingly smartphone-oriented fan base with one-of-a-kind luxury fashion.”

The Japan-based Line Corporation develops and operates the Line app for smartphones. The Line app launched in 2011, and is used in 230 countries. It has more than 181 million active monthly users.

 

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