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Christopher Bailey leaves Burberry

At 46 years old, Christopher Bailey marks the end of his creative director status at Burberry with a 2018 departure.

“As Burberry begins the next decade of its journey, Christopher has concluded that after 17 years it will be the right time for him to pursue new creative projects. Christopher will remain president and chief creative officer until 31 March 2018, when he will step down from the board. He will provide his full support to chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti and the team on the transition until 31 December 2018,” – Burberry Press office.

Christopher is widely celebrated as transforming the brand’s unwelcome association with the chav-check. He was instrumental in reimagining the brand with the higher tier Prorsum line, was at the helm of fusing the strong connection to young British musical talent and pioneered new technologies both in-store and with harnessing the power of social media. In many ways, becoming the Apple of the fashion industry with a succession of world-firsts.

Anyone in attendance of a Burberry show in the last 5 years would agree the attention and spectacle the brand is able to stir is not far off from a world premiere awards ceremony. And the robust ‘shop the look’ ecommerce platform in adjacent meant his shows were more of a consumer event than a closed presentation for buyers. He didn’t set out to disrupt the industry, he just had the intuition to challenge the well-oiled, ageing machine. And other leading brands were quick to follow.

“I need to focus more on the things that a customer sees and feels and touches and smells. It’s trying to make what we do—which is about combining technology with beautiful craftsmanship—relevant for life that I’m excited about.” Bailey addresses Vogues’ Hamish Bowles.

“It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years. Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain. As an organisation, it is creative, innovative and outward looking. . . . 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.”

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