The Queen sat front-row at Richard Quinn last week (a first for the 91-year-old), Erdem and Simone Rocha showed strongly, young designers like Matty Bovan and Richard Malone had absolute breakout moments…and then there was Christopher Bailey, bidding a bold, beautiful adieu to his groundbreaking tenure at Burberry.
Over seventeen years, the pragmatic, down-to-earth Yorkshireman transformed Burberry from a reserved heritage line to an innovative global powerhouse with equal parts gorgeous design and use of new technologies (under Bailey, Burberry was first in industry to harness live-streaming technology and an interactive website, partnering with Apple Music, Snapchat, and Instagram ahead of the curve). As a result, he is the first fashion designer named CEO of a public corporation.
The show “about time, past, present, and future” was a fitting backdrop to his final use of Burberry check, a rainbow plaid backed up by three LGBTQ charities who work with young people. Says Bailey, “I think this is a period of questioning and reflecting. We may have these values and this culture within these walls—but are we really living them? I feel I’m in a very privileged position to have a voice, to do something which may be a little controversial in some areas.” Bravo.