CHRISTOPHER BAILEY TO LEAVE BURBERRY
END OF AN ERA
Sending ripples through the fashion industry, Christopher Bailey, President and Chief Creative Officer of Burberry, announced he will resign in 2018.
Under the stewardship of Marco Gobbetti, who joined the British luxury house as Ceo in July 2017, Burberry is ready to enter a new decade. Bailey’s decision marks the end of an era as the star designer gets ready to pursue new creative projects after he will step down from the Burberry board on March 31, 2018.
Gobbetti is now in charge of finding a successor, although there should be no shortage of candidates for the role that’s been filled by one of the longest-serving creative directors in fashion.
Since he joined in 2001, Bailey was instrumental in transforming the 161-year-old brand from a dusty raincoat specialist steeped in tradition to a major fashion player listed on the London Stock Exchange. He reinvented the iconic tartan pattern to contemporary and edgy effect, complete with girly flourishes, handsome tailoring and military touches, created new IT bags and distilled the cool British spirit in a unique way.
He also moved forward by teaming up with hot and plugged-in Russian streetwear designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy as part of Burberry's Here We Are exhibition, which explores British culture. The buzzy eight-piece collection, which was unveiled alongside his namesake S/S 2018 range in Saint Petersburg, includes reversible bombers, shirts, shorts and bucket hats, all featuring Burberry’s famous check pattern.
During his tenure, Bailey guided the company through smooth and troubled waters, switched to see-now-buy-now shows and blazed new trails when he entered the digital world ahead of his competitors.
According to the media, there is wide speculation that Céline’s creative director Phoebe Philo or Clare Waight Keller, artistic director at Givenchy, could take on the role.
Looking ahead, it seems that Gobbetti and top analysts believe that Burberry needs to evolve by taking more risks and by experimenting to ultimately create a new energy.