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In a surprise move, Daniel Lee and Bottega Veneta are parting ways after three years.

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Designer Daniel Lee is leaving Bottega Veneta.

In a surprise announcement, parent company Kering said the decision for the exit was a “joint decision”. The 35-year-old British designer will be leaving the brand after more than three years, during which he energised and brought new life to the label. Lee joined the house on July 1, 2018.

Prior to taking on the rein of creative director at the Italian brand, Lee was a figure not known to many in the fashion world. His previous experiences include being an assistant to Phoebe Philo when the latter took over Céline and at Donna Karan.

Bottega Veneta Salon 02 Campaign - 04
Image: Bottega Veneta

In 2018, Lee was invited to take over Bottega Venetta and during his 3-year tenure at the house, he has helped to inject “life” into the staid brand. Diving deep into the archive of Bottega Venetta, the designer reimagined the house’s key stylist emblem — the interecciato pattern. It has since become a key motif of the brand as the pattern is seen across various ready-to-wear pieces and accessories.

Furthermore, Lee also had a knack for creating “It” items, which are often sold out. These pieces are often seen on celebrities and fashion editors — Puddle boots, Pouch clutches and padded Cassette cross-bodies are the new staples. Simple, minimalistic and sensual, these are the qualities to describe Lee’s creations and this influence could be attributed to his time with Philo, who also is known for her minimalistic designs.

At the BFC’s Fashion Awards in 2019, he took home prizes for Designer of the Year, British Designer of the Year, Accessories Designer of the Year, and Brand of the Year in one night. Lee instantly became of the key designers that is touted to shape the trajectory of fashion.

Bottega Veneta Salon 02 Look 11
Image: Bottega Veneta

The marketing and communications at Bottega Veneta also took a change under Lee’s stewardship. The brand deleted its own Instagram and have also broken away from the traditional fashion months. Instead, it is staging travelling fashion shows in cities such as London, Berlin, and most recently, Detroit. These shows became closed-door events and only selected individuals were invited.

Leo Rongone, CEO of Bottega Veneta, stated: “I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication to the House over the past three years. He provided Bottega Veneta with a fresh perspective and a new sense of modernity, while remaining respectful of the brand’s fifty-year heritage. The remarkable growth of the brand over the last three years bears testimony to the success of his creative work.” 

Kering did not give a reason for the split but said that a new creative direction for the house will be announced soon.

“My time at Bottega Veneta has been an incredible experience. I am grateful to have worked with an exceptional and talented team and I am forever thankful to everyone who was part of creating our vision. Thank you to Francois-Henri Pinault for his support, and for the opportunity to be part of Bottega Veneta’s story,” Lee said.

In Q3 of this year, organic sales for the label had increased by 8.9 per cent amounting to €363.4 million.

Bottega Veneta Salon 02 Campaign - 06
Image: Bottega Veneta

Other moves in the fashion industry include Versace CEO, Johnathan Akeroyd, becoming the new head of British luxury brand Burberry come April 2022. Burberry CEO, Marco Gobbetti, commented that Akeryod’s experience at Versace is similar to that of Burberry. Prior to Versace, Akeryod was CEO of another British luxury brand, Alexander McQueen.

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