The last four days have been pretty big for two of the world’s leading luxury fashion brands. Burberry and Gucci have gone head-to-head with two brilliant and forward thinking digital fashion campaigns for this season, targeting the Millennial/Gen Y audience.

Following the success of the acclaimed Art of Trench campaign and the recent launch of Burberry Acoustic, not to mention Christopher Bailey’s digital genius for the recent motion responsive ‘3D+’ Autumn/Winter campaign – Burberry has finally taken digital fashion one step further by announcing plans to offer customers a large portion of its Prorsum Spring/Summer 2011 runway collection — to be shown during London Fashion Week in September — for immediate online sale. KARLISMYUNKLE readers will remember what Natalie Massenet suggested at the Business of Fashion: Fashion Pioneers talk a few weeks ago about all fashion houses skipping a season (as a cure for the industry’s fashion cycle vertigo) in order to meet consumers’ needs:

BURBERRY VERSUS GUCCI BY NIK THAKKAR

“We should skip a season, let everyone take a much needed break in the summer and then in September show Fall/Winter collections, which will be in the stores within a few weeks. They’re already broadcast to the world. What’s frustrating is that the consumer is seeing it at the same time as us but she can’t buy it. Buyers and editors only need to look at a rail in the showroom to the pick the product. We don’t need to see the show.”

It looks like Bailey is in agreement with Natalie on this matter.

To take Burberry on, Gucci has made its first proper digital footprint on the luxury market with yesterday’s announcement of its new Digital Flagship store at gucci.com. The site itself integrates content, shopping and social networking to provide gucci.com’s 2.5 million monthly unique visitors with an aesthetic and experience that replicates the brand’s bricks and mortar stores worldwide. However, what is even more exciting, is the launch of Gucci Connect, where Gucci is “connecting the event world and the virtual world by hosting fashion’s first e-vent”. This might sounds corny, but they are essentially taking live-streaming of fashion shows to the next level by allowing consumers to share their live webcam video – online and at the Gucci show space – with assigned virtual seating. Check out the official site for more details and RSVP now: www.gucciconnect.com

GUCCI CONNECT BY NIK THAKKAR

In the words of Mark Ritson, “The world of luxury branding is one of great paradox. It is a place where tradition and creativity collide. Where ancient founders and youthful models meet and make magic together. Where impoverished artisans rise to become emperors of incredible fortunes”. In this day and age, the targeting of affluent Millennials is becoming more and more important, Hermes is doing it, Burberry has been paving the way, Gucci is now on board. Who’s next?

– Nik Thakkar