Millennial Burberry fanatics are disheartened by the announcement of Christopher Bailey, the current president and chief creative of one of the biggest luxury fashion labels in the world, as he will be leaving the company by the end of 2018. He will be stepping down from the board in March 2018 before his exit next year.
Bailey has been known for his unparalleled innovation since 2001, creating a fashion statement that propelled the brand to its peaks for the past 16 years. He has effectively promoted Burberry's identity by providing collaborations with A-list actors, models, and musicians globally. He has also been noted for his avant-garde treatment of the brand's symbols - the checks and the trench - in order to cater to the modern fashion market. Bailey has been a major source of inspiration to many young British independent designers, as affirmed by Jonathan Saunders, the Scottish designer who is now creative director of Diane von Furstenberg.
The decision to leave was mainly due to the decrease of global luxury sales, that rooted from "slow economic growth" in China, "geopolitical instability" and erratic "foreign exchange rates". This has resulted in the investors' doubt on Bailey's capabilities to handle the creative department and at the same time, deal with the uncertainties of the global economy. There was also a "complaint" on his salary, which many believed to be superfluous.
In July, Bailey has decided to give the position of Burberry chief executive to Celine head Marco Gobbetti because of the weighty pressure. The role was passed to Bailey in 2014 by chief executive Angela Ahrendts before moving to Apple. Prior to the promotion, Bailey was appointed creative director in 2004 and chief creative officer in 2009.
The departure of Bailey has left the public with the greatest curiosity on the possible successor, in which the brand has made no announcement, as well as the trajectory of the company's success.
How do you feel about this drastic change?
By: Franz Tabora
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