LONDON — Christopher Bailey is further ramping up Burberry’s creative team with the appointment of former Christian Dior Inc., and Barneys New York executive Judy Collinson as chief merchandising officer.
Collinson, senior vice president of merchandising for the U.S. at Dior, will succeed Paul Price, who plans to leave the company to pursue a new opportunity.
She will initially report to Bailey, chief creative and chief executive officer. As of July 5, she will report to Marco Gobbetti, who will take over as ceo. Gobbetti is currently serving as Burberry’s executive chairman, Asia-Pacific and Middle East.
Burberry said in her new role, Collinson will drive Burberry’s product strategies. She will join the British brand on May 8.
“Judy has extensive experience of fashion retail and luxury merchandising that will be invaluable to Burberry as we take action to strengthen the brand and position the business for growth,” said Bailey.
“I would like to thank Paul Price for the significant contribution he has made to Burberry over the past nine years, and wish him every success in the future.” The company said Price will work with Collinson over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.
Collinson’s appointment dovetails with Burberry’s strategy of making its shop floors more productive and alluring, and prioritizing fashion and newness as the company tightens operations and hones its offer.
Collinson joined Dior in 2012 as general merchandise manager for the U.S., just as its then-new creative director Raf Simons was set to present his first collection during couture week in Paris.
Known as a strong merchant, Collinson rose executive vice president, general merchandising manager women’s at Barneys, where she worked for 22 years. She exited following a management shake-up in 2010. In her post-Barneys career, Collinson also served as executive director of women’s apparel at Anthropologie.
She is the latest in a string of creative appointments at Burberry.
As reported in March, Bailey named Sabrina Bonesi design director for leather goods and shoes, a new role. Bonesi, who had previously worked for Prada and Dior, is responsible for men’s and women’s bags, shoes and accessories.
Earlier this year, Bailey added another senior executive to the team, Claudia Plant, the Net-a-porter veteran who had worked with that company since its founding. Plant served as global brand creative director at the Net-a-porter Group until last December.
Her title at Burberry is senior vice president, brand experience, which is also a new role. She reports directly to Bailey and works across online and off-line channels, helping to establish an editorial voice.
In the six months ended March 31, retail revenue at Burberry surged 19 percent to 1.27 billion pounds, or $1.57 billion. Stripping out the impact of the weak pound, retail revenue rose 3 percent.
Total revenue, which includes the wholesale and licensing businesses, was up 14 percent on a reported basis to 1.61 billion pounds, or $2 billion, but fell 1 percent on an underlying basis.
The past year has been a landmark one Burberry, which has unraveled many of the strategies put in place by Bailey’s predecessor Angela Ahrendts. The brand has shifted to see-now-buy-now coed shows, drafted a wide-ranging austerity plan, and handed over its fledgling in-house beauty business to Coty Inc.
As reported, Bailey in July will return to the sole role of chief creative officer, and will also take on the new role of president.