Being Christopher Bailey.

December 1, 2009
It’s not often you get to meet those who truly forward the march of fashion. Responsible for designing each and every one of Burberry‘s numerous lines, Christopher Bailey is one such figure, and by some extraordinary stroke of fate I had the opportunity yesterday to hear just how he does it.
First off, I need to mention that Bailey is a genuine man unlike many of the fake/overtly superficial/enormously egotistical members of the industry I’ve met, an undoubted opposite of the fashion cliché. This, I established primarily from his handshake. Fair enough, this may seem an entirely inappropriate (and frankly, odd) point to foreground but a firm handshake is quite rare and give me a weak one, well there’s no point in us talking at all…
23b2f dscf1656
It’s not just his innate knack for PR that’s impressive though, his drive, passion and hunger for the betterment of the brand is evident. Deirdre McQuillan, Fashion Editor of The Irish Times, quizzed Bailey on personal background and Burberry itself (while looking dashing herself, having accessorised with a grayscale check Burberry scarf and black leather fingerless gloves…an Anglo-inflected Karl Lagerfeld look that won me over).
Topics included: online retailing (expect Burberry’s best to appear on the web soon), finding the efficient fusion of aesthetics and economics (“creativity” is key but business is crucial), the reclamation of the Burberry check (be gone ye chavs and football hooligans), Bailey’s previous stints at Donna Karan and Tom Ford’s Gucci (both of whom he lauded) and Burberry’s phenomenal environmental protection measures (32 tonnes of paper (!) have been saved by halting printing of lookbooks etc.).
3134d dscf1657
Having read in this interview Bailey did with the v. dapper Colin McDowell, in which Bailey expressed his love for his West-Yorkshire home, I asked whether his design aesthetic was influenced by the landscape etc. The answer? Not exactly, but he did admit it informs all he does. I’m still not convinced, all those fair isle knits and flat caps from this season’s menswear? If that doesn’t scream bogger (and I should know…), I don’t know what does.
87e84 burberryprorsumaw09
^ Burberry Prorsum AW09
Just as Bailey so resolutely declared mid-interview – “I can’t bear dim people”. Rest assured – he’s not one of those.
Image from GQ
  • Mat December 1, 2009 at 11:32 am

    you lucky lucky boy

  • nicky December 1, 2009 at 11:59 am

    love your critique, spot on

  • Mens casual jackets December 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    This outfit on the catwalk is really cool. That jumper is perfect for this time of the year

  • Anonymous December 3, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Cool blog!A good honest and eye opening report! And I agree, theres no better introduction then a firm, confident handshake! Ha.Visit

  • aLeN December 4, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    CB is da MAN! great post!