Ben Stanstall | AFP | Getty Images
British designer Christopher Bailey poses backstage ahead of his Burberry Prorsum 2013 spring/summer collection catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London on September 17, 2012.
Christopher Bailey, who fashioned British trench coat maker Burberry into a global label, will step down next March as a new chief executive tries to revitalize the brand.
Bailey joined Burberry in 2001, and working with former CEO Angela Ahrendts made its camel, red and black check designs must-have items for fashion buyers from Hong Kong to London.
The 46-year-old designer added the chief executive’s role to his remit when Ahrendts left for Apple in 2014, but growth has faltered as demand for luxury goods in Asia slowed.
Bailey’s exit will enable new chief executive, Marco Gobbetti, to revamp Burberry’s creative direction as well as its operations, badysts said following Tuesday’s news.
“Burberry … has more than anything a top-line growth issue, as it has become somewhat predictable and deja vu,” Exane BNP Paribas said.
The company, which still manufactures its high-end coats in Yorkshire, northern England, poached Gobbetti from Celine to overhaul the business earlier this year, leaving Bailey with creative control.
Burberry said Bailey had decided it was now time to pursue new projects after he helped turn the company into a global brand worth more than 8 billion pounds.
Shares in Burberry were trading down 0.7 percent at 19.10 pounds at 1000 GMT.
Burberry said Bailey would step down from his board positions of president and chief creative officer at the end of March, but would support Gobbetti until 31 December 2018.
He will receive his salary, pension and contractual cash allowance and non-cash benefits until the end of 2018, the company said, but no bonus for the period after March.