The British came to Beverly Hills on Wednesday, when Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey accepted the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award on behalf of his brand.
"I've been with this company 16 years, and humanly they are an amazing company," said famed photographer Mario Testino during his introduction of Bailey. (Testino, who has a home in Los Angeles, has been photographing Burberry's ad campaigns for years.) "When I first joined the company, to define the brand they looked to the past. And since the day that Christopher arrived, this company has been looking to the future."
Indeed, Burberry, which is nearly 160 years old, has been on the forefront of digital innovation in particular. It was the first brand to live-stream a fashion show and the first to offer online ordering straight from the runway.
The ceremony honoring Burberry was attended by local business owners and City Council members, as well as guests including stylist Rachel Zoe, her husband Rodger Berman, Pam & Gela designer Gela Nash-Taylor and her husband musician John Taylor of Duran Duran.
It was a proud day for Bailey, who told the crowd that Burberry has had a presence in Los Angeles since the 1920s. "Rodeo is one of the most iconic streets, if not the most iconic street in the world," he said earlier in the day. "It conjures an image … to me and to customers."
The Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award was inaugurated in 2003 by the city of Beverly Hills to honor labels and personalities at the crossroads of the fashion and entertainment worlds. Previous recipients include Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Missoni and Testino. Honorees are immortalized with a bronze plaque embedded into the sidewalk of Rodeo Drive.
The award comes at a perfect time for Burberry, which just opened its first Rodeo Drive flagship, a four-story boutique at the corner of Rodeo and Dayton Way that was the backdrop for the Walk of Style ceremony presented across the street at Two Rodeo.
The store features the brand's full range of products, including its Prorsum, London and Brit lines. The space is designed to merge the online and offline shopping experiences, with 10 video screens to live stream fashion shows and display branded content, such as the charming new "Festive" holiday ad campaign starring 12-year-old Romeo Beckham, the son of soccer great David Beckham and fashion designer Victoria Beckham.
There's a VIP floor to cater to celebs, with a wraparound rooftop terrace that may be the biggest on the shopping street. Burberry has also put iPads in the hands of every sales associate to allow for personalized service and mobile checkout.
Also featured at the boutique is an exclusive Rodeo collection for men and women that was created for the opening, including a gold sequin trench coat ($6,500), pleated tulle ball gown ($16,000) and denim tuxedo jacket ($1,595).