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.
Kris Van Assche, Creatieve Director of Dior Homme for the past 11 years, is leaving the post. The Belgian menswear designer, according to WWD, is set to remain within the LVMH conglomerate in a new role. Van Assche’s departure from Dior coincides with the appointment of Pietro Beccari, the former chief executive of Fendi, as CEO of Dior.
After moving to Paris in 1998, Kris almost immediately began his tenure with Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme as first assistant with Hedi Slimane. He then followed Hedi over to Dior Homme were Hedi took the brand to new levels and reimagining menswear for a whole new generation to come. Kris took over the position in 2007 and has continued to move the brand forward with his often minimalist colour palette and urban streetwear references. Van Assche recently worked along side photographer David Sims for the latest Dior Homme campaign which included artists such as The Pet Shop Boys, Boy George and Depeche Mode lead singer David Gahan.
It has been confirmed that Kris is set to be replaced by former mens style director at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones.
After 10 years as Creative Director of the Parisian luxury brand Céline, designer Phoebe Philo is to step down. The British designers final show will be the SS18 show set to take place in Paris in March. In a statement from the brand Philo said “Working with Céline has been an exceptional experience for me these last 10 years. I am grateful to have worked with an incredibly talented and committed team and I would like to thank everyone along the way who has been part of the collaborations and conversations. It’s been amazing.” Philo joined Céline in 2008, after a tenure at Chloé, and over the 10 years has redefined how women dress, from revitalising the Stan Smith trainer she wore at the end of her catwalk shows, to turning out leather ‘it’ bags with ease as well as her famously edgy campaigns in collaboration with Juergen Teller. Rumours of her next role include a possible move to Burberry.
The Japanese designers Jun Takahashi of Undercover & Takahiro Miyashita The Soloist will be the guest designers at next years bi-annual trade shoe Pitti Uomo in January. Both designers are known for their twisted take on youthful romanticism. Takahashi & Miyashita have been close friends since the 1990’s and both met when they first showed their designs in Tokyo. “I think we both have similar ways of thinking,” says Miyashita. “Jun likes the feminine and the beautiful, but with a dark side that is sometimes scary. I also have a romantic and beautiful side that is tinged with darkness. I think we like the opposites — scary/funny, pretty/dark.” The designers will show their collections in back to back runway shows on Jan 11th.