After 17 groundbreaking years with the house of Burberry, Christopher Bailey is officially leaving his post as creative director. He will, however, remain on board as president and chief creative officer until March 31, 2018 to assist with the coming transition. The Spring/Summer 2018 collection to be presented this coming February will be Bailey’s last for the British brand.
Bailey began his tenure at Burberry in 2001 after stints for Donna Karan and Gucci. He proved instrumental in elevating Burberry to a star of the luxury market. After copies of the house’s iconic check pattern showed up on nearly everything and flooded the market, Bailey reclaimed it by buying up licensing. He also employed it sparingly and in more innovative ways. Burberry became London Fashion Week’s hottest ticket when Bailey introduced live indie music from British artists, top British models such as Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn, and confetti flooded finales. He delighted fashion fanatics with cheeky renditions of the classics layered in unique ways, showing pencil skirts in sheer latex over heart printed underwear and intricate band jackets over striped separates.
Bailey’s most important contribution during his time at Burberry was no doubt the manner in which he pioneered technology in the sartorial sector. He made sure Burberry was the first to lifestream a fashion show in 2009 and he recently debuted an entire collection over snapchat stories. He also moved Burberry to the see-now-buy-now model, ensuring that loyal costumers could shop items straight off the runway.
In an age when the job of a creative director is being questioned, we are especially sad to see Christopher Bailey leave. He took the time necessary to develop his brand of hire, giving so much of his soul to Burberry that it became hard to see where one ended and the other began. He had one of the longest standing roles at a major brand in recent history, and we are extraordinarily excited to see where his creative talents lead him next.