Another day, another major shake-up in the fashion industry, and this time around it involves two different fashion houses: fashion designer and creative director Christopher Bailey has been officially replaced as Burberry’s CEO by Celine’s former president Marco Gobbetti. That doesn’t, however, mean Bailey is stepping down at Burberry’s headquarters. Christopher Bailey has accepted the role as Burberry’s president and is going to keep on continuing his role as Burberry’s chief creative director (appointed as CEO in 2014, he has been working as the label’s chief creative director since 2009).
“I am delighted to welcome Marco, and I am looking forward to working closely with him alongside the rest of our highly talented teams. On a personal level, I know that we are going to enjoy a wonderfully collaborative partnership that makes me very excited for our future at Burberry,” said Christopher Bailey in what sounds more like a promise rather than a mere press release.
Burberry, one of the most renowned and refined fashion houses in the world, has reported a worrying 10% fall in annual profit, and is currently working on making thet sales increase again. For this reason, within the past few months, it has focused more on the accessory line (especially handbags) and shrunk its product range.
Such a management shake-up is extremely important for the future of the British Maison, and Bailey bravely stepped down as the company’s CEO keeping in mind what’s best for Burberry.
“It’s what’s best for the brand in the long term. This company is very, very important to me professionally and personally. I knew that we needed to evolve our organization, our structure, the ways of working, the processes. I knew that I needed to bring somebody in to partner with me because there’s a lot of change going on — in the macro, our industry, and also in the company. I just took the process in a very, very thoughtful way,” Bailey told WWD.
Bailey and Gobbetti have what we could regard as ‘spectacular strength’, with Bailey able to better focus on the designs and the products, and Gobbetti extremely skilled in the financial, operational, merchandising and retailer fields.
Marco Gobbetti’s appointment as Burberry’s new CEO, which will be effective starting from 2017, is not the sole major changing in the company. To avoid further losses (Burberry began cost-cutting some departments and consolidated all of its diffusion lines a few months ago), the company also appointed Julie Brown as Chief Operating & Financial Officer. Among other things, she will be responsible for the global business services, one of Burberry’s most critic areas.
As for the company’s first results after such major shake-ups, we have to wait up until September, when the fashion house will stage its first-ever see-now-buy-now runway show.
We keep our fingers crossed for Burberry!
Photo courtesy of Vogue