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March 1, 2018

Who is Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s new chief creative officer?

By Luke Christou

Burberry has confirmed the appointment of its new chief creative officer (CCO) to replace departing president Christopher Bailey.

It was announced that Bailey would step down from the board in October 2017 after 17 years with the company.

He departs having transformed the company from a small brand into Britain’s largest luxury label with his trend-setting designs. Burberry posted annual revenues of £2.8 billion ($3.7 billion)  in 2017, up more than $200 million year over year. Annual revenue has increased by more than £2 billion since he took control.

Riccardo Tisci, the fashion designer chosen to replace him as CCO, will work alongside new chief executive Marco Gobbetti. Together they hope to ensure that Burberry doesn’t go backwards following Bailey’s departure.

In a statement confirming Tisci’s appointment, Gobbetti said:

“Riccardo is one of the most talented designers of our time. His designs have an elegance that is contemporary and his skill in blending streetwear with high fashion is highly relevant to today’s luxury consumer. Riccardo’s creative vision will reinforce the ambitions we have for Burberry and position the brand firmly in luxury.”

Why did Burberry select Riccardo Tisci?

Filling Bailey’s boots will be no easy task. However, Gobbetti seems confident that he has selected the right person for the job.

Soon after it was announced the Bailey would step down, the likes of British designer Phoebe Philo, formerly the creative director at Céline, and Clare Waight Keller, artistic director of Givenchy, were tipped to replace him.

However, Burberry has given the role to her Givenchy colleague, Tisci, instead. This didn’t come as much of a surprise, given that Tisci has history with Gobbetti.

It was Gobbetti who handed the Italian designer the creative director role at Givenchy back in 2005. His appointment came following four departures in a decade as the brand struggled to cope with the retirement of founder Hubert de Givenchy in 1995.

However, Tisci managed to steady the ship and held on to the role for 13 years. Gobbetti is hopeful that he can help to ensure that Burberry moves on from Bailey without too much disruption.

At Givenchy, he has gained valuable experience in the high-end market which will serve Burberry well.

How Riccardo Tisci made it to the top of fashion

Tisci might not be a British designer, but he has a good understanding of British design, having studied at London’s esteemed fashion school, Central Saint Martins. Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and John Galliano are just some of the respected designers among the college’s alumni.

He then worked his way up Italy’s fashion ladder, working with brands such as Puma. He made his way into the luxury field working under British designer Antonio Berardi. It was this that earned him his opportunity at Givenchy.

His first line at the 2004 Milan Fashion Week received glowing reviews, which served a springboard for Tisci, who is now a well respected figure in fashion.

He is now a favourite among celebrities and socialites. The likes of Madonna, Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian have worked with Tisci on custom items.

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