Christopher Bailey acknowledges differences between art and design
Christopher Bailey sees a definite distinction between art and design.
The British designer is the chief creative and chief executive officer of Burberry, and is responsible for creating and delivering the heritage company’s global vision and business strategy, including brand imagery, product design, marketing and digital innovation.
In a new interview with fashion writer Colin McDowell for Woolmark’s website, the 45-year-old was honest about where he sees Burberry being positioned within a specific market in which commerce and couture intersect.
“I absolutely see what we do as design and not art. That is a big distinction for me,” he stated. “Design is about people having both an emotional reaction to something and also a functional and very pragmatic approach to something. And commerce is about making something relevant to people.”
Bailey has made no secret of his desire to reposition the brand in order to garner attention from the younger generation, and has tapped the likes of Eddie Redmayne and Cara Delevingne to star in recent campaigns. He is also aware that the demand for designer goods is changing and thinks that new customers and Millennials really care about design and creativity, “but they also care about price and how things are made.”
“When creativity and commerce come together, that’s when it becomes magical,” he shared.
Bailey has been at the helm of Burberry since 2014, and next year (17) will become the company’s president. In the new role he will retain his status as the brand’s top creative boss, though Marco Gobbetti will take on the role of chief executive, overseeing the business aspect of the company.
Meanwhile, Bailey is tackling major changes at the brand, which is known for its pattern-based scarves and trench coats, announcing plans to break with fashion industry tradition and show a see-now-buy-now collection on the September (16) runway.