Burberry chief creative officer and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey, along with former chief executive Angela Ahrendts, has transformed the British trenchcoat maker into one of the most widely known luxury fashion houses in the world, reporting £1.99 billion in revenue in 2012. Bailey oversees the design of menswear and womenswear lines for Burberry Prorsum, Burberry Brit and Burberry London, as well as brand imagery for Burberry fragrances and Burberry Beauty.
Bailey has recast Burberry as a digital pioneer, by spearheading innovative digital campaigns like the ‘Art of the Trench,’ with street style photographer Scott Schuman. Other initiatives include enabling customers to order product while watching Burberry’s runway shows and adding ‘smart personalisation’ tags to new season bags and coats that, when scanned in Burberry's stores, show videos of the products being made. The changing room mirrors within Burberry's flagship store on London's Regent Street can also scan and play the video clips.
Advertising has played an integral role in Bailey’s repositioning of the company. Celebrated photographer Mario Testino lenses Burberry campaigns, which have launched the careers of Lily Donaldson, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Cara Delevingne and Edie Campell, and have included British actors Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones and Sienna Miller.
Bailey cut his teeth working for Tom Ford at Gucci, where he was senior designer of womenswear from 1996 to 2001. Prior to his time at Gucci, he worked as a womenswear designer at Donna Karan for two years, where he first met Angela Ahrendts.
On 1st May 2014, Bailey was appointed in the dual role of chief creative officer and chief executive officer. The role added to his existing position overall responsibility for creating and delivering on Burberry’s global vision and business strategy. Since Bailey joined Burberry, the company share price has increased by over 500 percent and its profits by £350m, according to a statement by the company.
Bailey launched the Burberry Foundation and Burberry Acoustic with former chief executive Arhendts to support emerging creative talent through sponsorship and exposure gained through shows at the company’s flagship. He is in a long-term relationship with the actor Simon Woods.
Bailey won the British Fashion Awards Menswear Designer of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and in 2009 was crowned Designer of the Year. The designer earned a bachelor's degree in design from Westminster University, before studying for a master's degree at the Royal College of Art.