Photo: Getty

Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s creative director, will exit at the end of 2018 after 17 years with the brand. He’ll remain president and chief creative officer until he steps down from the board on March 31, 2018, and will guide CEO Marco Gobbetti through the transition until he fully parts ways with the label on December 31, 2018.

“It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years,” Bailey said in a statement. “It has been a truly inspiring place to work and the decision to leave was not an easy one.”

The designer, 46, joined Burberry in 2001 under former CEO Rose Marie Bravo and has been a part of the brand’s “incredible transformation” and “success in that period,” Gobbetti said in a statement. After Bravo stepped down, Bailey worked closely with her successor, Angela Ahrendts, when she started in 2006 an helped establish the British label as a reputable luxury brand, Business of Fashion reports. He took over as chief creative officer and chief executive officer in 2014, when Ahrendts left for Apple.

Gobbetti, who joined Burberry as CEO this year, respects Bailey’s decision to leave and is now working to find his successor. “While I am sad not to have the opportunity to partner with him for longer, the legacy he leaves and the exceptional talent we have at Burberry give me enormous confidence in our future,” he added.

Bailey continues in his statement: “I do truly believe, however, that Burberry’s best days are still ahead of her and that the company will go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco. I would like to thank all my colleagues as well as Sir John Peace and the Board for all their support and faith in me over the years. I am excited to pursue new creative projects but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US

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