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Bottega Veneta and Daniel Lee are ending their successful partnership after three years— a “joint decision”, according to a press release from Bottega Veneta’s parent company Kering. Lee has been at the creative helm of the Milanese house since July 2018.
“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,” Lee said in a statement. “Thank you to Francois-Henri Pinault for his support, and for the opportunity to be part of Bottega Veneta’s story.”
Prior to his creative director role, Lee worked under Phoebe Philo at Céline and at Donna Karan. His time at Bottega Veneta saw unparalleled success for the label known for its “stealth wealth” reputation for making quietly luxe pieces.
Under Lee, Bottega became a bit sexier, a bit flashier, and a lot more recognizable. In 2019, sales rose 2.2 percent to nearly $1.4 billion in 2019 and managed to keep growing in the fraught 2020 market, according to Business of Fashion. Much of that growth is owed to a series of handbags that stole fashion hearts the world over—including a revamp of Bottega Veneta’s famed intrecciato style, pouch clutch bags that launched endless copycats, and the cassette bag featuring heavy gold hardware. There’s also been talk of the green hue that Lee popularized at the brand becoming one of Bottega Veneta’s largest assets.
“I am very grateful to Daniel for having brought his passion and energy to Bottega Veneta,” François-Henri Pinault, Chairman & CEO of Kering said, “His singular vision made the House’s heritage relevant for today and put it back to the center of the fashion scene.”
Doubtlessly, Lee became a beloved designer in the fashion space, with Instagram fan accounts like New Bottega Veneta amassing 872 million loyal followers, even as the brand itself went dark on the platform. A successor has not yet been named at Bottega Veneta, and Lee has also not announced where he will be headed next.
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