This year has been a tumultuou one for Christopher Bailey, but nobody can deny the industry-shifting influence he has had on fashion in 2016. In February, the designer announced his intention to subvert the tradition selling schedule and, in September, he began showing “seasonless” Burberry collections in a “see now, buy now” format that allowed consumers to buy items immediately after they appeared on the catwalk. Many designers have since followed suit.
But it has not all been plain sailing. In July, Burberry appointed Céline chairman and CEO Marco Gobbetti as its chief executive. Bailey will relinquish the role, becoming president and chief creative officer in 2017. The business is going through a tough period, partly due to a slowdown in some international markets. But Bailey’s bold decision to rewrite the fashion week rulebook is what he stands out for this year.