Christopher Bailey was born in West Yorkshire, England in 1971, his father was a carpenter father and his mother was a visual designer for Marks and Spencers. His grandmother was Italian, from whom he believes he got his love of fashion. At 18 years old, he won a place in a two-year fashion course at the Royal College of Art in London and graduating with a Masters in Fashion in 1994.
Moving to New York, he worked for Donna Karan and remained there for 2.1/2 years. He was the right-hand man to Peter Speliopoulos, who was designing for Donna Karan. He says he learned a great deal at that time.
In 1993, Tom Ford met him and offered him a place with Gucci and Christopher ended up working 5.1/2 years with Ford, from 1995 to 2001. He feels his time under Tom Ford was very valuable and he learned a lot.
Being at heart British, Christopher then wanted to work with a designer in the U.K. His opportunity came when Rose Marie Bravo, the owner of Burberry, offered him the design job. He joined Burberry in June 2001.
His runway debut for Burberry was a relaxed presentation in a Milan palazzo that had playfulness as well as a return to Burberry's British roots. He has built on that concept while revamping the influences with contemporary silhouettes, fabrics and finishes.
Bailey has also overseen the start-up of Burberry's immense 57th Street New York flagship store, opened in Fall 2002. This will enable Burberry and Bailey to move into the US market with a bang.
Bailey presented his Spring/Summer Prorsum 2003 collection for Burberry in Milan in September 2002 and showed his Autumn/Winter 2003 collection for Burberry at the London Fashion Week during February 2003. He also showed his own collection in the same week.