Burberry appoints Riccardo Tisci to replace Christopher Bailey as new Creative Officer

By Rose Adams | 05 Mar 2018 | Style

The appointment of the Givenchy designer could indicate an exciting shake up at the British brand

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* Riccardo Tisci replaces Christopher Bailey as new Creative Officer at Burberry [photo © REX/Shutterstock]

As Christopher Bailey steps down from Burberry after 17 years at the helm, it's been announced that former Givenchy Creative Director Riccardo Tisci is to step into the designer's shoes – and experts suggest the change could be a sign that the quintessentially British brand is planning a complete overhaul to its aesthetic and approach within the industry. 

While the pick seems to have inspired divisive reactions from the fashion elite, his appointment has been met with approval from the stock market – on 1 March Burberry shares rose as much as 7.1%, and were up 4.7 % as investors welcomed the brand's apparent efforts to reignite sales.

Related: Designer Henry Holland on the future of big brand fashion

Tisci will start his new position at Burberry on 12 March and is expected to show his first collection in September. Critics are citing his appointment as a surprising selection for the brand, which is best known for channelling traditional British design conventions in their runway and ready-to-wear collections. Bailey has long been synonymous with this aesthetic since his famous camel hued trench and checked scarf hit the runway. 

In contrast, Tisci received critical acclaim for transforming Givenchy during his 12 years as the Parisian fashion house's creative director. His striking introduction of a subversive, edgy aesthetic apparent in their rottweiler print bags and distressed slogan t-shirts. He also introduced high profile collaborations with brands including Nike – the latest of which hit stores on Saturday and was inspired by Greek Mythology – and is known as a champion of diversity. His second ever couture show with the label included nine black models, including Naomi Campbell. Androgyny and gender fluidity are also frequent themes in Tisci’s collections, he famously booked transgender model Lea T for his AW10 campaign.

The switch up will undoubtedly open Burberry to a new pool of young followers, aligning with Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti’s vision to breathe new life into the 162-year-old British brand. I"Riccardo's creative vision will reinforce the ambitions we have for Burberry,” Giobetti said. “By reenergising our product and customer experience to establish our position firmly in luxury, we will play in the most rewarding, enduring section of the market.”

Talking about his new role, Tisci said: "I am honoured and delighted to be joining Burberry as its new Chief Creative Officer and reuniting with Marco Gobbetti. I have an enormous respect for Burberry's British heritage and global appeal and I am excited about the potential of this exceptional brand.”

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