English designer Daniel Lee is leaving his position as Creative Director at Italian luxury house Bottega Veneta.
Yesterday Kering Group, the owner of Bottega Venetta alongside brands like Gucci and Balenciaga, released a statement announcing that Lee and Bottega Veneta have come to a “joint decision” to part ways after only three years together.
In a statement Lee said “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.”
The news comes as a surprise to the industry at large where moves like this are usually rumoured long before they happen. Previously the director of ready-to-wear under Phoebe Philo at Celine, Lee was plucked from relative obscurity to revive Bottega Veneta’s declining sales and relevance in the mainstream.
Joining the brand in 2018, Lee debuted his first collection for the maison during Autumn/Winter 19, which was highly acclaimed for its accessories and gave us a small taste of what was to come from his tenure. Following that Lee has managed to significantly turn the fate of Bottega Veneta around with an instantly recognisable visual aesthetic and trendy “it” pieces that appeal to a younger audience. Supersizing the houses signature woven intrecciato bags and introducing a cool saturated lime green that has come to be known as Bottega Green, replacing the logo as a signifier of the brand.
The moment created by the news of Daniel Lee’s departure is further fuelled by his CDFA nominations this year in the categories of International Women’s Designer of the Year and International Men’s Designer of the Year. When things are going so well for Lee, it is a brave and even smart step to leave Bottega Veneta on a high note. Coincidentally, the news comes as Phoebe Philo is set to launch her namesake brand backed by Kering rival LVMH, sparking speculation that his next move may involve working with his former boss.
“I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication to the House over the past three years,” Leo Rongone, CEO of Bottega Veneta said. “His singular vision made the house’s heritage relevant for today and put it back to the center of the fashion scene.”
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