Riccardo Tisci will take the helm of Burberry, the British brand confirmed on Thursday. The former Givenchy creative director will take the brand in a new direction, as Burberry looks to revitalize its image and sales with a move more upmarket. As of March 12, Tisci will replace Burberry’s long-standing star designer Christopher Bailey, who helped transform the brand from a British stalwart to a global luxury label over his 17-year tenure.
News broke last year that Tisci was leaving Givenchy and that former Chloe creative director Clare Waight Keller would taking up the artistic director position; his last collections for the LVMH-owned brand were January's Fall-Winter 2017 menswear and Fall 2017 couture. Shortly thereafter, sources reported that Versace has made overtures to Tisci in recent months. Sources said any contact between Versace and Tisci would be delicate, given his close relationship with Donatella Versace, which culminated with her appearing in Givenchy’s fall 2015 campaign.
“I am delighted that Riccardo is joining Burberry. He is one of the most talented designers of our time,” Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s chief executive, told the New York Times following the appointment. “His designs have an elegance that is contemporary and his skill in blending streetwear with high fashion is highly relevant to today’s luxury consumer. Riccardo’s creative vision will reinforce the ambitions we have for Burberry and position the brand firmly in luxury.”
Last November, Gobbetti, who said he was "delighted" at the appointment, as "Riccardo is one of the most talented designers of our time," outlined a plan to take Burberry further upmarket, with more high-end products, fast-changing fashion and refurbished stores, though he also said the shift would take several years to take effect," according to Reuters.
Tisci – who will be based in London and direct all Burberry's collections, presenting his first in September – said on Thursday that he is happy to be joining Burberry, saying, “I have an enormous respect for Burberry’s British heritage and global appeal and I am excited about the potential of this exceptional brand.”