Christopher Bailey (fashion designer)

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Christopher Bailey

Born (1971-05-11) 11 May 1971 (age 49)
Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
Alma materRoyal College of Art
University of Westminster
OccupationFashion designer
TitleFormer chief creative officer and president, Burberry Group
Spouse(s)Simon Woods
AwardsDesigner of the Year, British Fashion Awards 2005

Christopher Paul Bailey CBE (born 11 May 1971) is the president, and former chief creative officer of Burberry.[1][2][3] In May 2014, he took up the role of chief creative and president, following the departure of former CEO Angela Ahrendts.[4] In February 2018, he was succeeded as chief creative officer by Riccardo Tisci.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Christopher Paul Bailey[6] was born in Yorkshire, England, the son of a carpenter and a window dresser for Marks and Spencer.[7] He graduated from the Royal College of Art with a master's degree in 1994, where he was later awarded an honorary fellowship in 2004[8] and, in 2013, an honorary-doctorate degree.[9]


Rainbow cape by Bailey for Burberry on display at The Met's exhibit Camp: Notes on Fashion

From 1994 to 1996 he was the womenswear designer at Donna Karan and senior designer of womenswear at Gucci in Milan from 1996 to 2001. He joined Burberry in May 2001 as design director and became creative director in 2004, and chief creative officer in November 2009.[7][10]

In 2008, Bailey, alongside Angela Ahrendts, established the Burberry Foundation, dedicated to helping young people realise their dreams and potential through the power of their creativity. The Burberry Foundation invests in select charities focused on supporting young people in the key cities in regions where the majority of Burberry employees live and work, and where they are able to participate in volunteer roles.[11]

On 15 October 2013, Bailey was named as the next CEO of Burberry following Angela Ahrendts's departure to Apple in mid-2014.[12] Bailey took up the role of chief creative officer and CEO on 1 May 2014.

Bailey is credited with transforming the fortunes of the company,[7] turning it into the luxury industry's digital leader and overseeing a reinvigoration of the company's design.[13] Bailey masterminded the design of Burberry's largest store, 121 Regent Street in London, opened in 2012, a bricks-and-mortar incarnation of the brand's website.[14] He also oversaw the design and development of the 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) Burberry Global Headquarters at Horseferry House in London, opened in 2009.[citation needed]

In July 2016, it was announced that Marco Gobbetti, CEO of Céline, would be the next CEO of Burberry. Gobbetti took over from Bailey in November 2017, who will be transitioning to the role of president while also retaining the title of chief creative officer.[15][1][16][17] In July 2017, Gobbetti replaced Bailey as CEO.[18] According to a 31 October 2017 company announcement, Bailey will resign from the board in March 2018 and entirely depart from Burberry in the following December.[19]

Personal life[edit]

While in Milan, Bailey met and began dating Geert Cloet, brand designer for Miu Miu. He split his time between his home in Milan and England. When Cloet was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2004, he and Bailey moved to Yorkshire to be near Bailey's family. Cloet died the next year.[20]

Bailey has been in a relationship with British actor Simon Woods since 2009,[21] and they married in 2012.[22] They have two daughters, Iris and Nell.[23]

In May 2014 Bailey became the first openly gay executive among FTSE 100 corporations.[24]

Bailey is mentoring emerging British creative talent from UK institutions including the Royal College of Art and the University of Huddersfield.[25]



  1. ^ a b "Marco Gobbetti Named CEO at Burberry; Christopher Bailey to Become President". 11 July 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  2. ^ Friedman, Vanessa; Paton, Elizabeth (31 October 2017). "Christopher Bailey, Burberry Chief Creative Officer, Is Leaving". Retrieved 1 March 2018 – via
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Topping, Alexandra (1 March 2018). "Burberry names Riccardo Tisci to replace star designer Christopher Bailey". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  6. ^ "The Class of 2009: Stylemaker of the year: Christopher Bailey". Out Magazine. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b c McDowell, Colin (6 September 2009). "Christopher Bailey: Burberry's golden boy". The Times. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  8. ^ a b c Alexander, Hilary (7 December 2009). "Christopher Bailey collects his MBE". Telegraph. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  9. ^ a b Sowray, Bibby (28 June 2013). "Burberry's Christopher Bailey to receive honorary-doctorate degree". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  10. ^ Jones, Dolly (11 November 2009). "All Hail Bailey". Vogue. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ WWD Staff (25 February 2014). "Anna Wintour, Christopher Bailey Spotted in London". WWD. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  13. ^ Roberts, Andrew (9 April 2014). "Burberry Designer CEO Shows Shift to Creatives in Luxury". Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  14. ^ Irwin, Rosamund (14 September 2012). "Top of the Shops". ES Magazine. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  15. ^ Davies, Rob (11 July 2016). "Burberry's Christopher Bailey makes way for new CEO". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  16. ^ Kirton, Hayley (11 July 2016). "Christopher Bailey named president of Burberry, replaced as chief exec". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  17. ^ Chaudhuri, Saabira (11 July 2016). "Burberry's Christopher Bailey Replaced as CEO by Marco Gobbetti". Retrieved 1 March 2018 – via
  18. ^ Vandevelde, Mark (18 May 2017). "Burberry sales rise as Bailey bows out as chief executive". Financial Times. United Kingdom. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Christopher Bailey, Burberry Chief Creative Officer, Is Leaving". The New York Times. 31 October 2017.
  20. ^ Horyn, Cathy (12 March 2006). "Tea and Sympathy". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  21. ^ The Tatler List, Christopher Bailey
  22. ^ "Wedding bells for Burberry's Christopher Bailey and Actor Simon Woods".
  23. ^ Mower, Sarah. "Goodbye Christopher Bailey". Vogue. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  24. ^ Stanford Graduate School of Business, Former BP CEO John Browne: Why Coming Out is Good Business, 24 September 2014.
  25. ^ Barton, Laura (4 September 2013). "Burberry's Christopher Bailey on his obsession with music". Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  26. ^ Alexander, Hilary (9 December 2009). "British Fashion Awards: Christopher Bailey named designer of the year". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  27. ^ Alexander, Hilary (8 June 2010). "Christopher Bailey wins CFDA international award in New york". Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  28. ^ Alexander, Ella (10 March 2011). "Bailey is given honorary doctorate". Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  29. ^ Jones, Nina (2 December 2013). "Christopher Kane, Miuccia Prada Among Honorees at British Fashion Awards". WWD. Retrieved 3 December 2013.

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