RAINBOW CONNECTION: Burberry is opening its arms, and its wallet, in support of LGBTQ youths, with plans to unveil a rainbow check at the February show, and a diversity-focused philanthropic program.
Burberry called the LGBTQ — or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and other groups — rainbow “an emblem for optimism and inclusiveness,” and said it will feature prominently across the next collection, Christopher Bailey’s final one for the brand. The rainbow check pieces will be available for purchase immediately after the show in London on Feb. 17.
Burberry has also made donations to three charities, the Albert Kennedy Trust, the Trevor Project and ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, all of which aim to broaden awareness, mentor and make resources available to LGBTQ communities worldwide.
“My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to — and in support of — some of the best and brightest organizations supporting LGBTQ youth around the world. There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity,” said Bailey, president and chief creative officer of Burberry.
Tim Sigsworth, chief executive of the Albert Kennedy Trust, said Burberry’s donation will make a difference to preventing LGBTQ youth homelessness in the U.K. “Twenty-four percent of the 150,000 young people facing homelessness in the U.K. identify as LGBTQ after experiencing abuse and rejection just for being brave enough to come out to their families.”
Burberry’s donation, an undisclosed sum, will support the charity’s work to provide safe homes and support to young people, grow the youth engagement program and fund its expansion plans, he added.
Ruth Baldacchino and Helen Kennedy, co-secretaries general of ILGA, said Burberry’s donation will help the charity support activists as they advocate at the United Nations for repeals of discriminatory laws. Burberry’s money will also help the charity to equip and train human rights advocates in Africa, Asia and Latin America to sustain movements in these regions.