Risky Business: Marco Gobbetti Hunts for a New Burberry Designer

LONDON — The heat is on to find Christopher Bailey’s successor at Burberry, and the question remains, will Marco Gobbetti be true to his word?
Burberry’s new chief executive officer, a fashion management star who helped steer Givenchy and Céline to success, declared during his first annual general meeeting in July that Burberry needed to take more risks.
The company, he said, “must evolve and try new things. We have to experiment, to create. We have to ask ourselves tough questions, and be bold in all areas of the business in order to create a new energy and positivity.”
Gobbetti was expected do all that alongside Bailey, Burberry’s president and chief creative officer, but that was not to be: On Tuesday, Bailey said he plans to step down in 2018 after 17 years on the job.
And now Bailey’s exit could trigger another big shuffle in fashion’s merry-go-round.
Many would argue that Gobbetti’s new creative chief is right under his nose: Phoebe Philo, whose future at Céline has been the subject of speculation, and who’s said to be getting itchy feet after nine years at the LVMH-owned fashion house.
If Philo does take up the role next year, she’ll need replacing at Céline, creating more uncertainty in the designer market.

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