The Nova Check: Burberry's Intersection of Class and Luxury
Burberry's Nova check pattern was a prime example of the intersection of fashion and class politics. The pattern, which featured a distinctive black, white, and red check, has become synonymous with the brand and was instantly recognisable.
However, Burberry's relationship with working-class youth, particularly in the UK, has been complicated. In the past, the Nova check pattern was adopted by some working-class youth as a symbol of status and exclusivity. However, it was also associated with "chav" culture, a derogatory term used to describe a certain type of working-class youth. This led to Burberry discontinuing some of its products featuring the Nova check pattern in order to distance itself from this negative association.
As the cultural landscape shifted, so did the connotations of luxury fashion. The rise of streetwear and the intersection of high fashion and sportswear led to a change in the way we viewed class and exclusivity. The Nova check's resurgence aligned with this shift, as luxury houses were re-contextualizing their iconic logos and patterns.
The Nova check has been reclaimed and reinterpreted by a new generation of fashion enthusiasts who appreciated its history and significance. The pattern was being worn by a diverse group of people, from streetwear enthusiasts to high-end fashion lovers. Burberry's decision to reintroduce the Nova check pattern was a part of this trend.
But it's important to remember that class politics was at play here. Burberry's association with "chav" culture and their decision to discontinue the Nova check pattern highlighted the elitist nature of the fashion industry. It was a reminder that fashion was not just about aesthetics, but also about power and class.
The Nova check's resurgence was a reflection of a larger cultural shift, but it's important to remember the history and politics surrounding it. As we continue to see luxury fashion brands embrace streetwear and working-class aesthetics, its important to critically examine the ways in which class and power were intertwined in the industry.