Christopher Bailey Bids Burberry Adieu


In yet another shocking instance of designers coming and going, Christopher Bailey is leaving Burberry to pursue other creative projects. Bailey has been with the storied British brand since 2001 as a design director, and had become the creative director by 2004. In 2009, he moved up again, becoming the company’s chief creative officer, and he added CEO to his title in 2014. It should come without saying that his rise at Burberry was fueled by its success under his direction.

It’s especially sad news because in the past few seasons Bailey has produced increasingly challenging collections that have drawn from the world of art, and has also ushered in a few changes to the runway, including mixing his men’s and women’s collections together (which also led to a unisex collection that surprisingly favored femininity), and moving to its famous See Now, Buy Now business model.

But given some of the other changes that have happened with the brand in the past few years, Bailey’s exit seems to have been long in the works. In the summer of 2016 it was announced that he would be stepping down as CEO, to be replaced by Marco Gobbetti (who officially begins his position this November). That phase out seems to be happening again, as Bailey’s leave from his chief creative officer position doesn’t take effect until the end of 2018.

“It has been the great privilege of my life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years,” he said in a statement. “I do truly believe, however, that Burberry’s best days are still ahead of her, and that the company will go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco. I am excited to pursue new creative projects, but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition.”

As of yet no replacement has been announced—although the house still has a year to fill the position. Bailey seems to remain on good terms with Burberry, so we’re sure he’ll have a hand in finding and working with his successor before moving on for good.


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