Burberry’s creative director to exit company by 2019
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Burberry’s creative director to exit company by 2019

Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s creative director and former CEO, is leaving the company at the end of 2018. The news comes not long after the appointment of Marco Gobbetti, whose mission includes turning Burberry’s fortunes around and cutting costs. Mr. Bailey has spent seventeen years with the British fashion house, and is regarded as being largely responsible for the brand’s creative resurgence – however, he has not always been an uncontroversial figure.

Burberry’s share price has risen by 27% so far this year

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

According to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Deborah Aitken “Christopher Bailey’s time as CEO plus creative director stretched him too far.” She cites the brand’s latest collection as evidence, saying that it “has had mixed reviews both on the catwalk and when worn by the A-listers.”

Bailey says that he is leaving to pursue new creative projects, although he has offered no clarification as to whether they remain within the fashion industry, which is changing fast. The big conglomerates Kering and LVMH are benefitting from the multiple labels they own, making them more robust as fashionistas’ tastes evolve.

Bailey’s replacement as CEO, Marco Gobbetti, is now well underway with his plans to revolutionise Burberry’s business. He is in the middle of a cost-saving drive, and hopes to save £100 by 2019. He is also presiding over a return to growth: in the quarter that ended with June, the company saw sales growth of 4%, with double-digit increases in China. This is partly attributable to a wider turn around in the luxury sector, but Mr. Gobbetti’s business-like approach has also gone down well with investors. On the announcement of his appointment, shares in the company rose by 8%.

Speaking about Mr. Bailey’s departure, Mr. Gobbetti said in a statement: “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.” 

Disclosure

Dominion holds Burberry in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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