March 1, 2018 / 10:11 AM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Burberry taps ex-Givenchy star Tisci to replace designer Bailey

* Tisci credited with revitalising LVMH’s Givenchy

* Will replace long-standing Burberry designer Bailey

* Comes as Burberry looks to shift upmarket, boost sales (Adds details, quote)

LONDON/PARIS, March 1 (Reuters) - Burberry said on Thursday it had picked Givenchy alumnus Riccardo Tisci to take its designs in a new direction, as the British fashion brand looks to revitalise its image and sales with a move more upmarket.

Tisci replaces Burberry’s long-standing star designer Christopher Bailey, who fashioned the trench coat maker into a global luxury label over his 17-year tenure.

Tisci’s appointment comes amid a merry-go-round of designer changes at top brands, at a time when luxury goods companies are trying to ride an industry upturn as demand from Chinese consumers rebounds and young shoppers drive sales.

Tisci is credited with revitalising Givenchy with a dark, edgy vibe. He was creative director at the LVMH-owned French fashion house from 2005 to 2017, and had overlapped there with Marco Gobbetti, now CEO of Burberry.

“Riccardo’s creative vision will reinforce the ambitions we have for Burberry and position the brand firmly in luxury,” Gobbetti said of the appointment.

Tisci will start his new job on March 12 before presenting his first Burberry collection in September.

“The appointment could trigger excitement and support for the stock,” Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said in a note.

The label’s shares were up 3.8 percent at 0943 GMT.

Burberry has been struggling to jumpstart sales at a time when many rivals, such as Gucci, owned by France’s Kering , or LVMH’s luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton, are on a roll.

Gucci, for instance, has benefited from a radical design overhaul over the past three years, and its flamboyant new style has enthused younger customers in particular.

LVMH’s Celine was the latest brand to announce a major designer change in January, with former Yves Saint Laurent star Hedi Slimane replacing Phoebe Philo.

Last November, Gobbetti outlined a plan to take Burberry further upmarket, with more high-end products, fast-changing fashion and refurbished stores, though he also said the shift would take several years to take effect.

Bailey, whose departure was announced last October, had worked with Burberry’s former CEOs Rose Marie Bravo and Angela Ahrendts to make its classic camel, red and black check designs must-haves for followers of fashion around the world.

He presented his last Burberry collection - a colourful run through the label’s archives - last month, and will stay on as an adviser to the company until the end of the year. (Reporting by Sarah Young and Sarah White. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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