Designer Christopher Bailey is to replace Angela Ahrendts as the Chief Executive Officer of Burberry as of 2014.
Bailey and Ahrendts have worked together for almost over a decade to re-market the brand for the 21st century and Bailey is currently the Chief Creative Officer for the luxury British brand. Following nine years as Creative Director, Bailey told Vogue that the role of Creative Officer is one which which he will retain following Ahrendts departure. Ahrendts, who has worked at Burberry since 2006 and is responsible for turning the brand around is leaving to assume the role of Vice President for retail and online stores of technology giants Apple.
Bailey said on Vogue’s website earlier today:
I am profoundly moved and humbled to be asked to take on the CEO role at this company that means so much to me
He stated that creativity and innovation had been at the heart of Burberry’s success over the past ten years.
He added; ” It has been my privilege to work with people right across the company over the last ten years, and whilst I am sad no longer to have the inspirational leadership of Angela, who has been an absolute joy to work with, I feel more than confident that part of her legacy is an enormously strong team in all of our areas.”
Burberry Prorsum was established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, a drapers apprentice from Basingstoke. The business was developed for creating fine Equestrian gear and luxury, high quality outdoor clothing. Burberry over the years became best known for a manufacturing gabardine; a breathable water resistant fabric, outfitting explorers such as Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton and fashioning the “Trench Coat” during modern warfare. The Burberry Equestrian Knight and tartan check print became the brands trademark leading Burberry to become an integral part of British heritage, fashion and culture.
The brands popularity diminished as it fell to the favour of ‘prole drift’ in the 1980s and 1990s, with football fans and ‘chavs’ being associated with the checkered print which was regularly counter-fitted on the high street.
However Bailey and Ahrendts collective influences on the company pulled Burberry Prorsum back into the luxury market and promptly re-branded it via high fashion magazines and celebrity endorsement from fresh, cool and young British talents such as Emma Watson, Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn and Lily Donaldson.
Today the likes of Brooklyn Beckham, Jourdan Dunn, Rosie Huntington Whiteley and Cara Delevingne are the faces of the brand which sells the iconic beige trench coat, luxury ready-to-wear clothing, suits, luggage, leatherware and fragrances. Their signature style is one of classic elegance with a touch of London quirk and traditional British heritage. In September, the brand wowed again at London Fashion Week by displaying polka dot patterns and stunning pastel ensembles in duck-egg, turquoise, peach, carnation, canary, coral, mint and lavender setting up the fashion landscape for Spring/Summer 2014.
Needless to say, despite Ahrendts departure, Bailey is sure to carry on the brands commercial and couture success.
Ahrendts commented on Vogue’s website;
It has been an honour to have partnered with [Burberry chairman] Sir John Peace and Christopher for the last eight years. I am confident that, with Sir John’s continued guidance and the executive team’s support, Christopher, as one of this generation’s greatest visionaries, will continue to lead Burberry to new heights.