Bottega Veneta and Daniel Lee have announced that they are parting ways. Lee showed his first collection for the Italian luxury goods maker for fall 2019.
Leo Rongone, CEO of Bottega Veneta, said in a statement: “I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication… He provided Bottega Veneta with a fresh perspective and a new sense of modernity, while remaining respectful of the brand’s 50-year heritage. The remarkable growth of the brand over the last three years bears testimony to the success of his creative work.”
Bottega Veneta was Lee’s first creative director assignment; he was plucked from the Celine studio, where he was womenswear director under Phoebe Philo. Lee’s first runway collection received mixed reviews, in part because his Bottega Veneta aesthetic was rougher-around-the-edges than the one he helped hone at Celine, but his accessories hit almost instantly. The buttery leather Pouch bag sparked a trend for softly structured leather bags and his square-toed pumps and sandals had a similar agenda-setting effect in footwear. Thereafter, he was embraced by the fashion establishment. At the 2019 Fashion Awards, held in London in December of that year, Lee was nominated for the four top prizes and won them all. Rihanna and Hailey Bieber were both seen in his statement-making fringed shearling outerwear for the label.
The pandemic slowed Lee’s roll, as it did the entire fashion industry’s. With the traditional runway show system in question, Bottega Veneta adopted a salon concept in which the house would present its collections off-calendar to local audiences; Lee said he didn’t believe in digital fashion shows. London was first, and not long after that show the brand deleted its social media accounts. A second salon in Berlin was a showcase for his studio’s experimental knitwear silhouettes and flair for colour and unlikely embellishments, but an after-party attended by unmasked and unvaccinated revellers attracted negative press. Last month, Lee and his team showed his spring lineup for the label at the Michigan Theatre in Detroit. The collection was a pivot to a sportier, more casual sensibility.
In the same statement, Lee said: “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. Thank you to Francois-Henri Pinault for his support, and for the opportunity to be part of Bottega Veneta’s story.”
The release said that “a new creative direction” for the house will be announced soon.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.