BREAKING: Christopher Bailey To Exit Burberry; Will Phoebe Philo Or Riccardo Tisci Be His Successor?

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Burberry Fall 2017 Ready-To-Wear.

LONDON — Christopher Bailey is set to exit Burberry after 17 years. The Chief Creative Officer will exit the brand at the end of 2018.

Before we get into the story, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Two years ago, DM Fashion Book reported that the British luxury fashion house consolidated Burberry‘s ProrsumBrit and London brands into one single label, which is now called Burberry (see it here). In July 2016, we confirmed that Christoper Bailey was out as Burberry CEO. He became president and chief creative officer. Burberry has appointed Marco Gobbetti chief executive officer (see it here).

Today, we learned that Bailey is set to exit Burberry at the end of 2018, according to a release issued on Tuesday (October 31).

Bailey will keep his position as President and Chief Creative Officer until March 31, 2018 — enough time to see the March 2018 collection through to completion. At that time, Bailey will cede creative control and step down from the board, but will remain with the company and CEO Marco Gobbetti to “provide support” with the transition until December 31, 2018.

In his time with Burberry, Bailey has taken the label from a struggling British heritage brand to a fashion powerhouse. Gobbetti was the chairman and CEO of French luxury brand Céline, a position he has held since 2008, before joining Burberry. He worked in the fashion industry for more than 20 years, having previously worked at Givenchy and Moschino.

See Bailey’s full statement below:

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.”

At the time of this post, there is no official word on who Bailey‘s successor will be, but we’ve heard some rumors and here are our five candidates who we think could take the helm at Burberry.

  1. Phoebe Philo who is set to exit Céline before the end of the year (see it here) is already speculated to be Bailey‘s successor.
  2. Riccardo Tisci. Last February, DM Fashion Book confirmed that Tisci has exited French house Givenchy, after 12 years at the helm (see it here). Back then, we also reported that Versace was in talks with TisciVersace made overtures to Tisci and held discussions in recent months (see it here). As to why isn’t Tisci officially at Versace yet? Well, he is said to be locked into an iron-clad non-compete agreement with Givenchy and its parent company, LVHM, which serves to bar him from working for a competitor for an unspecified period of time.
  3. Alber Elbaz, he left Lanvin in 2015 after 14 years (see it here). He was rumored to succeed Raf Simons at Dior, but that wasn’t true either because we reported that Christian Dior has appointed Maria Grazia Chiuri as its new artistic director, the first women to hold the position in the French house’s 70-year history (see it here). It was also reported that Elbaz would launch his own label, but we haven’t heard much since.
  4. Bouchra Jarrar, she was Elbaz‘s successor at Lanvin and left the troubled house only after 15 months and two collections (see it here).
  5. Peter Dundas, he was appointed creative director of Florence-based company Roberto Cavalli once again in March 2015 (see it here). After a year and a half, the Norwegian designer exited Roberto Cavalli SpA once again (see it here). Dundas went on to launch his eponymous line (see it here). Paul Surridge is Peter Dundas‘ successor at Roberto Cavalli (see it here).

Burberry Fall 2017 Menswear.

Burberry Fall 2017 Ready-To-Wear.

Burberry Fall 2017 Menswear.

Photos Credit: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv

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Donovan

Donovan is the CEO and Founder of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.

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