Burberry announced today that Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey will quit the brand in March 2018. The Spring / Summer 2018 show in February will be his last. Bailey will remain president and CCO until March 31, 2018, when he will step down. He will fully support CEO Marco Gobbetti and give the team in the transition phase until 31 December 2018.
In a statement released by the brand this morning Bailey said he was grateful for his career at Burberry, but thinks it's time to move on. '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. It celebrates diversity and challenges received wisdoms. It is over 160 years old, but it has a young spirit, it is part of the establishment, but it is always changing, and always learning. It has been a truly inspiring place to work and the decision to leave was not an easy one. 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 would like to thank all my colleagues as well as Sir John Peace and the Board for all their support and faith in me over the years. 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.'
Commenting on Bailey's departure Gobbetti added, 'Burberry has undergone an incredible transformation since 2001 and Christopher has been instrumental to the company's success in that period. While I am sad not to have the opportunity to partner with him for longer, the legacy he leaves and the exceptional talent we have at Burberry give me enormous confidence in our future. We have a clear vision for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand and I am excited about the opportunity ahead for our teams, our partners and our shareholders.'
Christopher Bailey joined Burberry in 2001 as Design Director. Previously, he worked with Donna Karan and Gucci, when Tom Ford was a designer. In 2009 he became Chief Creative Officer, and in 2014, the title of CEO was added. One of his most talkative moves as Burberry's head was to introduce the 'See Now, Buy Now' concept, where fans could get their hands on seasonless items immediately after they were presented on the runway.