July 14, 2010

One Day, I Met Christopher Bailey

In the fashion world, you deal with A LOT OF PERSONALITY. There are egos to pad, toes to avoid stepping, and plenty of poker-faces to play when you want to speak to the right people. It is easy to develop an attitude when there are crowds of fans whispering your name, eager to meet the famous you... especially when YOU are the chief creative officer for one of the world's largest luxury brands, and the recipient of countless accolades in the fashion industry including the CFDA's International Designer of the Year Award. The average man might have an incredibly inflated self-esteem from such accomplishments. Luckily, Christopher Bailey is an exception to the rule, and one of the most humble people I have ever met.

I met Bailey during the launch party for Burberry Beauty, the first cosmetics line released by the brand. There were samples of foundation, lip gloss, shadows, and the rest of the beauty range, designed to be the finishing touch for the "Burberry girl." The packaging is really fresh: a simple etched check motif decorates the metallic covers and faces of each product.

Burberry Beauty now available Online and at select Nordstrom locations

The intimate event was attended by a choice crowd of socialites and high-profile clients. It was brief but I was satisfied after talking to Christopher (saying that I talked to CB hasn't gotten old yet) if not for the simple fact that there was no shortage of aggressive people seizing the opportunity to speak to the face of Burberry. It was such a relief to meet such a praised powerhouse in the industry who is full of talent and energy, but remains grounded and sincere when speaking to his colleagues and audience. I mean, how am I supposed to respond when CB asks how I'm doing? Apparently, "I'm very well and honored to meet you." I asked him what was next for men's Prorsum, but he said he hasn't begun work on A/W yet. I'm not surprised considering his schedule but I was delighted when he confirmed my suspicions about punk being an influence for the SS2011 collection. As his fierce PR team lead him from person to person I noticed his efforts to give full attention to whomever he was conversing with and obliged all requests for photos. There was a moment when Bailey was pulled aside from the fray to take press shots for the event. He politely excused himself and nervously tried to find his own angles without a jaded bone in his body. He seemed slightly fidgety and self-conscious - AS ANY NORMAL HUMAN BEING WOULD/SHOULD REACT.

Trench by Burberry, Shirt by Uniqlo, Khakis by J.Crew, Bag by Louis Vuitton, Vintage Boots and Sunglasses

Meeting Christopher Bailey was special for me; he is not just a celebrity, but an artist I respect and whose career I have followed with great passion. I still don't know what to expect from Burberry in the future. The brand is a purveyor for apparel, shoes, accessories, and fragrance (for men, women, and children), and now cosmetics. It is a little intimidating (or uplifting depending on how you view it) to see such growth from a fashion house in this economy. Whatever the next move is, I am comfortable with being a faithful client to the brand because I know it is in the hands of one of the good guys.

- jerome