Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Christopher Bailey
for Burberry Prorsum

Christopher Bailey was born in West Yorkshire, England in 1972, his father was a carpenter father and his mother was a visual designer for Marks and Spencers. His grandmother was Italian, from whom he believes he got his love of fashion. At 18 years old, he won a place in a two-year fashion course at the Royal College of Art in London.

Fortune favoured him when Donna Karan visited the college and asked him to work for her. In 1990 he joined her house in New York and remained there for 2.1/2 years. He was the right-hand man to Peter Speliopoulos, who was designing for Donna Karan. He says he learned a great deal at that time.

In 1993, Tom Ford met him and offered him a place with Gucci and he ended up working 5.1/2 years with Ford, from 1995 to 2001. He feels his time under Tom Ford was very valuable and he learned a lot. Being at heart British, Christopher then wanted to work with a designer in the U.K. His opportunity came when Rose Marie Bravo, the owner of Burberry, offered him the design job. He joined Burberry in June 2001. His runway debut for Burberry was a relaxed presentation in a Milan palazzo that had playfulness as well as a return to Burberry's British roots. He has built on that concept while revamping the influences with contemporary silhouettes, fabrics and finishes.

Bailey has also overseen the start-up of Burberry's immense 57th Street New York flagship store, opened in Fall 2002. This will enable Burberry and Bailey to move into the US market with a bang. Bailey presented his Spring/Summer Prorsum 2003 collection for Burberry in Milan in September 2002. This is an outfit from that collection. He picked up the military/sport theme and managed to make something really different, matching cashmere jog pants with mesh jackets. He used the new Burberry check scaled up in soft green, on a shrunken jacket that looked like an old friend.

Bailey showed his Autumn/Winter 2003 collection for Burberry at the London Fashion Week during February 2003.

Burberry is one of the largest and most broadly based fashion brands in the world. Bailey used flashbacks from the 1980's for his Fall show. He didn't use the famous Burberry plaid much, but he made a printed nylon raincoat with an English country scene on it. Plenty of neat little jackets and stretch-chiffon dresses were shown. He also came up with some cool sweaters in blocks of New Age stripes.

He also showed his own collection in the same week.

Forbes magazine published their list of the world's most influential designers in November 2005. At the top of the list was Christopher Bailey generating 170 million pounds in sales at Burberry and getting 421 press mentions during the year. Manolo Blahnik, shoe designer came second followed by Dolce and Gabbana, who came third.

Article from Designer History

Labels: , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home