Christopher Bailey, the chief creative designer and former CEO of Burberry has resigned from his role with the world-famous brand after 17 years of partnership. British Fashion House announced last week that Bailey will remain as creative designer until March 2018, and will completely cut ties with the fashion brand by the end of next year. Until then, Christopher Bailey will be sharing responsibilities with luxury goods veteran Marco Gobetti, who has been the CEO of Burberry since Bailey’s resignation as president earlier in July.
Christopher Bailey was recognised as the innovator for the brand after he became the design director of the fashion-forward company in 2001. Under his leadership, business decisions have been made to improve the opportunity for instant-order online clothing, bags and accessories from the new collections, right after the fashion catwalk show. Burberry was at the forefront of changing this just last year, and for the first time ever in the industry, collections were shown and sold within the same season. With every other major international fashion label’s customers having to wait four months before they’re able to get their mitts on the clothes they see on the catwalk, Burberry were miles ahead.
Once a limited UK company famous for its rainwear collections, Bailey transformed Burberry into a global luxury brand. Now we know Burberry for its elegant, flattering shapes and stylish trench coats with the iconic tartan pattern, which reflect modern British style.
As Bailey said: “Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain. As an organisation, it is creative, innovative and outward looking.”
In recent collections the designer has modernised chiffon dresses and been the creative force behind the innovative stylish trench coats in daring materials and patchwork wool sweaters that have graced the catwalk in the last few years.
Decades after its first production, the Burberry trench coat is, as Chanel’s black dress used to be, the ‘must-have’ item for all women and a kind of ‘second-home brand’ for many celebrities, such as Emma Watson, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, the Dutchess of Cambridge, Claire Dates, and Dakota Johnson. Furthermore, Burberry’s collections are printed in British, US, Italian, Russian and many others editions of Vogue magazine, showing the timeless nature of the brands identity. Burberry’s old collections fill up outlets all over the world and it is one of the most well-known copied trademarks along with Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior: and isn’t imitation the best form of flattery? Thanks to Bailey, we can now feast our eyes upon Burberry’s new collections on the catwalks, as well as in the shopping windows in luxury shops in the UK such as Harrods, when we are walking down Regent, New Bond or King Street in London, and at every luxury department at an airport. Even with the loss of such an iconic part of the re-invigoration of the brand, we do not need to be sad by Bailey’s departure, and instead recognize it as a sign that time has come for Burberry to thrill us with a new designer bringing new styles for future collections. As fashion always craves change, let’s see Bailey leaving as an opportunity to see the new face of Burberry and a step into the unknown.