British designer and new chief creative officer for Burberry Daniel Lee has finally revealed his vision for the next chapter of the iconic English brand and if it feels familiar, that’s the point.
Over the weekend, the hands behind the Burberry machine wiped their social media platforms of content. Gone was the collection shots, gone was the campaigns, gone was the era of Riccardo Tisci and in its place a clean slate on which to deliver the next phase of Burberry under Lee’s hand.
Shot on location at iconic English heritage sites Trafalgar Square and Albert Bridge by Tyrone Lebon, which features a cast of equally iconic faces such as actor Vanessa Redgrave, footballer Raheem Sterling and pop culture royalty Lennon Gallagher (son of ’90s It Girl Patsy Kensit and Oasis founder Liam Gallagher) this new chapter is honing in on Burberry’s quintessential Britishness.
And not just Britishness, but a very specific time in British modern history. One that’s intrinsically intwined with Burberry’s cultural presence. Lee’s imagery, with the nova check appearing on bikini and baseball cap, seems to be tapping into a sense of brand nostalgia. Specifically the early ’90s and ’00s and the “logo wave” that was sweeping across Britain.
It was an era where Burberry and its instantly recognisable nova check had become a complex symbol of British society. Beloved by the aristocracy for its heritage, coveted by the working class, the brand navigated a precarious balance between its position as a luxury brand and the street cred it had developed.
Lee seems determined to bring this era unflinchingly into the present, as marked by the return of the (slightly redesigned) equestrian knight logo bearing a flag that says “Prorsum”, or meaning “forward” in Latin associated.
For those of us—and by us I mean me—who find pleasure in details, Lee has also bucked the current luxury brand trend of homogenous typeface. The thick, bold fonts in black now used by everyone from Chanel to Balenciaga to Saint Laurent.
Subtly decorative, the new typeface hints at Burberry’s ability to operate outside of global trends that became a potent element of its creative output under former chief creative officer and president Christopher Bailey. This Golden Age of Burberry—those Brit Pop and Cool Britannia years and the following decade of Bailey’s reign—seems to be the well from which Lee is drinking his inspiration. A looking back to take the brand forward, so to speak.
For now, at least.
This article originally appeared on Grazia Australia.