Christopher Bailey is leaving Burberry after 17 years

'I do truly believe, however, that Burberry's best days are still ahead of her'

After 17 years at the helm of Burberry, Christopher Bailey, president and chief creative director of the luxury brand, will step down on 21st March 2018.

In a statement, he said it had been a privilege to work for Burberry, but that he was sure it would continue to thrive without him.

‘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. 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,’ he said.

He added, ‘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.’

Meanwhile, Burberry chief executive director Marco Gobbetti announced, ‘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.’

Burberry’s SS18 collection, to be presented at Fashion Week in February 2018, will therefore be Christopher Bailey’s last.

Bailey worked for Gucci in Milan and Donna Karan in New York, before starting at Burberry in 2001. He is credited for making checked-line trenches a cult must-have item, and keeping the brand fresh, especially when it came to runway shows.

Burberry was the first brand to live stream a show in 2009, and incorporate live performances from breakthrough artists like Tom Odell. More recently, he was one of the first to embrace the see-now-buy-now model, paving the way for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger.

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