Daniel Lee Is Leaving Bottega Veneta


In a transfer that shocked the style world, and fewer than a month after holding a much-ballyhooed present in Detroit earlier than an viewers that included Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim and Kehlani, Bottega Veneta, the Italian luxurious model identified for its signature intrecciato weave, introduced it was parting methods with its artistic director, Daniel Lee.

Mr. Lee, 35, who began at Bottega as a relative unknown, had been on the model for simply over three years, although in that point he was credited with reviving the previously staid home and giving it a coolly modern veneer. Which made it, in fact, very popular.

The information got here hours earlier than the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards, the place Mr. Lee, who’s British, had been nominated in two classes: worldwide ladies’s put on designer of the 12 months and worldwide males’s put on designer of the 12 months, and two weeks earlier than the Fashion Awards in London, the place Mr. Lee had been nominated as designer of the 12 months.

In a press release, François-Henri Pinault, the chief government of Kering, the luxurious group that owns Bottega Veneta, thanked Mr. Lee for “the unique chapter” he wrote within the model’s historical past.

“His singular vision made the house’s heritage relevant for today and put it back to the center of the fashion scene,” Mr. Pinault stated.

In 2019, Mr. Lee received 4 awards on the British Fashion Awards for his turnaround, together with designer of the 12 months and model of the 12 months — greater than every other designer had taken dwelling in a single evening within the historical past of the occasion, together with Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. His pouch bag, launched not lengthy after he joined Bottega, was a runaway hit, as had been his square-toe woven pumps.

Indeed, Mr. Lee launched such a transparent identification for the model — one constructed on a sure form of rigorously trendy engineering — {that a} tangy, saturated shade of lime inexperienced grew to become generally known as “Bottega green” virtually in a single day. (A notable accomplishment given what number of years it took Tiffany to personal its signature blue, or Christian Louboutin to put declare to purple soles.)

Only final month, Kering — which additionally owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, amongst different manufacturers — reported revenues of 363.4 million euros (roughly $417.73 million) within the third quarter, a progress of 9.3 % over 2020.

This even if at the start of 2021, Mr. Lee took the counterintuitive step of wiping Bottega Veneta’s social media accounts clear. That transfer adopted his earlier choice, through the pandemic, to eschew the broader trend week calendar, opting as a substitute to rename his dual-gender exhibits Salon 1 and Salon 2 (Detroit marked Salon 3) and maintain them the place and when he noticed match.

In the information launch Kering didn’t say when Mr. Lee would formally go away his job, or who would substitute him, although it did characterize the parting as a “joint decision.” If so, it got here as a shock to many of the trend world, an business the place designer change is normally rumored lengthy earlier than it happens (usually even when it doesn’t happen) and the place designer-brand rigidity typically arises when gross sales fall (or don’t take off within the first place) or mutual unhappiness begins to leak — neither of which appeared to be the case at Bottega, regardless of a excessive degree of workers churn. Indeed, Mr. Lee’s job had been thought to be largely safe. In Detroit, after his latest present, he had been virtually bouncing on his toes with pleasure.

“Gobsmacked!” stated Ken Downing, the chief artistic officer of Triple Worldwide, the corporate behind the American Dream mall in New Jersey. “The news of Daniel Lee leaving Bottega Veneta is shocking and unexpected, to say the least.”

Luca Solca, the senior luxurious analyst at Bernstein, additionally referred to as the information “unexpected,” and stated it was “bad news for Kering.”

“Daniel has been able to reinvent intrecciato for Bottega Veneta and to bring it back to consumer relevance quickly,” Mr. Solca stated.

Lisa Marie Fernandez, the designer, tweeted, “Oh wow … There won’t be any brands left that women can actually buy and wear anymore.”

While rumors could not have preceded Mr. Lee’s departure, it didn’t take lengthy after the information broke for brand spanking new whispers to begin, together with that maybe Mr. Lee’s exit was associated to the return of the designer Phoebe Philo, for whom Mr. Lee had labored when she was artistic director of Celine. Or that possibly he had discovered a backer for his personal model — although he had by no means expressed a need to begin a namesake line.

Whether or not that’s true, the abrupt nature of the parting, in addition to the truth that no info has been shared about what the designer or his former model plans to do subsequent, is certain to offer rise as soon as once more to hypothesis about artistic versus company energy. Not to say kick-start the frenzied trend recreation of designer musical chairs, which appeared to have briefly (fortunately) slowed down through the pandemic.

Neither Mr. Lee nor anybody at Kering was obtainable for remark.