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.
As the first night of Pitti Uomo got under way, Gucci revealed three new hall spaces in its Gucci Garden space in Florence, two of which pay tribute to singer Bjork. Creative director Alessandro Michele collaborated with Bjork last year when he designed unique pieces for the musicians music video ‘The Gate’. The outfits and masks from the video will be on show as well as the special custom gown, which took approximately 555 hours to create and a further 320 hours for the intricate embroidery work. The moulded masks, designed by James Merry, another organza dress and the Gucci shoes will also be on show, alongside various books and artefacts on the singer and her home country of Iceland.
The third room will be occupied by 23 year old British artist Isabella Cotier, who has collaborated on a Gucci Garden exclusive of T shirts, Hoodies, Sweatpants and Totes, all emblazoned with Cotier’s colourful illustrations depicting eccentric Florentine characters in prominent places around the city. The collaboration with Cotier follows the collection of clothing, porcelain mugs and candle holders the brand developed with Jayde Fish.
Gucci Garden, Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze, Florence.
Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele opened the newly curated Gucci Museo in Florence, Italy with the added Gucci Garden, which contains the addition of a new concept store, exclusive restaurant run by Italian Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura and the Galleria exhibition rooms curated by critic Maria Luisa Frisa. The façade of the building greets you with a large neon-pink illuminating eye. The space, originally the museum opened by Gucci in 2011, will also display a wide ranging retrospective of pieces from collections dating back to the House’s Florentine origins in 1921. The specially curated concept store will feature, as well as Gucci clothing & jewellery, the brands recent foray into the world of home decor. Alessandro said “The garden is real, but it belongs above all to the mind, populated with plants and animals: like the snake, which slips in everywhere, and in a sense, symbolizes a perpetual beginning and a perpetual return.” Entry to the Gucci Garden experience will cost around €10 with half of the fee donated to support restoration projects around the city of Florence.
Gucci Museo, Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122, Firenze FL, Italy
For Gucci’s SS18 campaign Alessandro Michele has left behind the famed photographs of long time collaborator Glen Luchford, and has produced a set of surrealist images by the Spanish artist & illustrator Ignasi Monreal. The latest collaboration comes after Monreal led the Gucci Giving campaign and his work also being used in the last Gucci Cruise collection. The Spanish-born fashion illustrator exploded onto the fashion scene in his early twenties with his colourful graphic illustrations. A perfect pairing for Gucci’s whimsical palate. The dream like images contain both fairy-tale and mythological references as well as dinosaurs and UFO’s, sitting perfectly with Alessandro’s ongoing reinvention of the Gucci brand.