Just 48 hours after Creative Director Tomas Maier announced he was stepping down after 17 years at the helm of Bottega Veneta, the company has announced British designer Daniel Lee is set to take over on July 1st. Although relatively unknown outside of the fashion industry, 32 yr old Lee, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, has so far worked along side some of the most outstanding current brands today. After putting in stints at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga & Donna Karen, the designer most recently was Director of Ready-to-Wear at Céline were he began in 2012.
Following Phoebe Philo’s departure late last year, and the appointment of Hedi Slimane, who is tearing the house apart to continue in his inimitable style, Lee would have been out of a job. Meanwhile Kerring, the luxury conglomerate that owns Bottega Veneta, have been appointing some shrewd Creative Directors within its houses in recent years, most notably Alessandro Michele at Gucci & Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga. And after quite public fraught tension with Hedi at Saint Laurent, employing Lee from Céline will go some way to keeping the minimalist understated style of Céline alive once Hedi turns the brand on its head, and bring some fresh vitality to Bottega Veneta in the same way both Michele & Gvasalia have to their houses. “Daniel Lee has a deep understanding of the house’s current challenges both in terms of creation and development.” said Claus Dietrich Lahrs, CEO of Bottega Veneta. “He will bring to Bottega Veneta a new and distinctive creative language that will continue building the house’s success based on the ambitious foundations already developed over recent years.”
Former Creative Director Tomas Maier has laid the foundations for the house in the past 17 years but recent years have seen a steady decline in profits. Maier was known for his strict detailing and rejected out-and-out branding for a more subtle approach.
“I’m both honored and excited to continue the legacy that has been created at Bottega Veneta over the last five decades,” said Lee. “Maintaining the ingrained codes of the House, craftsmanship, quality and sophistication, I look forward to evolving what has gone before, while contributing a new perspective and modernity.” Daniel will start at Bottega Veneta in July with his first collection in September.