The Daily Telegraph - Business

Where Gobbetti goes … Will his creative director follow?

- Laura Onita

Marco Gobbetti laid out his muchantici­pated plan to reinvigora­te Burberry just days after predecesso­r Christophe­r Bailey announced his departure from the British fashion house.

Mr Gobbetti revealed he wanted to turn Burberry from an “accessible” brand into a luxury powerhouse operating in the same space as Gucci and Prada, following a wave of criticism that it had become too pedestrian and was heading down market.

The new boss launched a push into leather goods and handbags, an area where Burberry had previously struggled to compete, buying Italian business CF&P in 2018 in an effort to bolster this division.

In 2018, Mr Gobbetti hired Riccardo Tisci as Burberry’s creative head after they previously worked together at Givenchy. The duo introduced a new logo and designed chunky trainers to attract more affluent millennial­s and Gen-Z shoppers to its roster of regular spenders.

Mr Gobbetti’s departure will prompt fears that he could be followed by his old colleague, as there is a vacancy at Ferragamo for a creative director.

Insiders argued that this is not be a foregone conclusion and pointed out that Mr Tisci stayed at Givenchy for almost a decade after Mr Gobbetti left.

The chief former executive also bet big on China, where Burberry has been expanding aggressive­ly.

Early signs suggest this plan is working, despite a short-term hit from Covid.

In March, Burberry upgraded its profit forecast for the full year as strong demand for its goods in China drove an uptick in sales.

Flavio Cereda, of Jefferies, said: “They’re only halfway.

“Burberry is a strong brand in ready-to-wear, but weak in leather goods. He rightly identified it as a problem, but it takes time [to fix].

“The big question is: does the creative head stay? The new chief executive will have to get on with him and resume the path that Burberry has been on.”

‘Burberry is strong in ready-towear, but weak in leather’

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