As the designer steps down, we look back at his time as chief creative officer – from the superstar collabs, to the COVID heroics, to dressing Rihanna on the cover of Dazed
THE PETER SAVILLE REBRAND
Tisci’s appointment at Burberry in 2018 was unexpected, but he wasted no time in making his mark. Later that year, the designer unveiled a rebrand of the fashion house, with a new logo and monogram designed by the iconic art director Peter Saville. Mixing up the Burberry heritage, the monogram interlaced Ts and Bs (for founder Thomas Burberry) in red, white, and gold, while the logo went sans-serif, in line with pretty much every major fashion brand at the time.
MARCUS RASHFORD AND SHYGIRL BECAME BURBERRY ROYALTY
Heralding the fusion of football and fashion that was to come, Burberry welcomed Manchester United player Marcus Rashford into the fold in 2020, following his charitable campaign to extend free school meals. The collaboration saw the fashion house partner with Rashford to help feed and educate kids across the world. The label also went on to fund a massive Manchester mural to celebrate the footballer later that year. He isn’t the only British icon to make waves as the face of Burberry in recent years though; under Riccardo, we also got campaigns starring the likes of Shygirl and FKA twigs, not to mention a slew of UK faves on the runway.
DON’T FORGET THAT ARCA PERFORMANCE
Cast your mind back to AW20. Burberry models walk the show to intricate piano music, overlaid with droning synths, white noise, and glitchy whispers. That’s the sound of Arca collaborating with the Labèque sisters live, slap bang in the middle of the runway. “There’s the classical reference and posture, and the playfulness and sonic experimentation,” Arca said in the wake of the performance, capturing the brand’s push-pull between heritage and innovation. “I think in the end what came out is really special.”
CLAP FOR BURBERRY
OK, we’re not actually suggesting that Burberry is on a par with the NHS, but the label did step up to provide vital funding for research and equipment at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, it converted its Yorkshire trench coat factory to produce gowns and masks to help fight the virus. That isn’t the label’s only example of charitable outreach under Tisci, either. In 2021, it teamed up with Rashford once again to build libraries in underfunded schools across the UK, and this year it donated materials to help bridge the wealth gap at fashion schools up and down the country.
THE AW22 DINNER PARTY
For his first IRL runway show since the outbreak of COVID, Riccardo invited fashion fans to a lavish dinner party, AKA a hall full of white tabletops in Paris, which models mounted and used as a runway. The AW22 collection itself – see: fluffy ballgowns, trench-dress crossovers, and armpit-length trousers – was one of the designer’s strongest for Burberry, seeing him lean into his love for the high fashion hybrid. Other signatures that will surely define his time at the label include his characteristic basketball-goth vibes, plus his pioneering input in the streetwear movement.
Just as Riccardo loved playing Frankenstein with fashion at Burberry, he also introduced us to some more mythical hybrids outside of the atelier. Whomst among us can forget that topless Adam Driver ad that cast the actor as a jacked centaur striding down the beach? Or the Bambi ears (courtesy of Isamaya Ffrench) that Riccardo sent down the runway for SS22?
BURBERRY X SUPREME
It was A$AP Nast that finally revealed the much-rumoured Burberry and Supreme collaboration earlier this year, posting a picture of himself in head-to-toe nova check embroidered with a giant horse and a box logo. Of course, the link-up marked a big moment for both labels – at this point, a Supreme collab is basically a hypebeast rite of passage – and, more importantly, reduced the degrees of separation between a British heritage brand with a royal warrant, and a swamp-dwelling ogre named Shrek.
BURBERRY REACHED NEW HEIGHTS OF STARDOM
While Riccardo Tisci was at Burberry, the heritage brand earned a new superstar status. The designer’s tenure saw Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bündchen, and plaid fan Bella Hadid become the perfectly-proportioned faces of the label. Need we say more? Well, we can if you want. See: basically half of the attendees at this year’s Met Gala, but especially Nicki Minaj, Kate and Lila Moss, and once again Bella and Naomi.
RIHANNA’S DAZED COVER
We’ve been saving the best for last, obviously. Dazed’s autumn 2021 cover – starring none other than Rihanna herself – launched to an internet-wide frenzy. And while that has a lot to do with the fact that the cover star was, again, Rihanna, it was also down to the custom, all-white look commissioned by Dazed editor-in-chief IB Kamara, and pieced together by Riccardo Tisci alongside his team of designers at Burberry: a simple and sultry counterpoint to the more outré looks that peppered the Kamara-styled shoot. Revisit how the look came together behind-the-scenes here.