Since news broke last October that Christopher Bailey was stepping down from his position at the helm of Burberry after 17 years, rumours have circulated about who might succeed him. Would it be Phoebe Philo, who announced her departure from Céline in December? Would it be Kim Jones, the former creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton? The fashion rumour mill whirred excitedly and over the past few weeks at the AW18 shows, particularly after Christopher Bailey's swan song, it has been the hot word on every editor's lips.
This morning, somewhat unexpectedly, the British fashion house announced that Riccardo Tisci, the creative director at Givenchy from 2005-2017, will direct all Burberry collections and present his first for the brand in September. He will be based at Burberry’s headquarters in London.
Riccardo Tisci said in a press statement: “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.”
Marco Gobbetti, who was appointed CEO at Burberry in July 2017, previously president and CEO at Givenchy between 2004-2008, added: “I am delighted that Riccardo is joining Burberry as Chief Creative Officer. 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.”
With over a decade's experience designing everything from haute couture to streetwear-inspired womenswear and menswear collections, as well as leather goods and accessories at Givenchy, the industry and Tisci's cult following will eagerly await the new direction and vision he brings to the quintessentially British brand, so well known and loved for its iconic trench and recognisable check.
For the past 17 years, Burberry has been intrinsically linked with music, with artists such as Tom Odell, Benjamin Clementine and James Bay performing at fashion shows. Riccardo Tisci has collaborated with some of the world's biggest artists, including Jay-Z and Kanye West, Rihanna and Madonna. The countdown to September begins, when a whole new image (and potentially sound) to Burberry will be unveiled.