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Bottega Veneta, Daniel Lee Surprise Exit – WWD

Eyes will be on the new process of Bottega Veneta When Matthieu Blazy holds his first show as creative director on February 26. The event will also mark the brand’s return to Milan Fashion Week after the shows are held. in cities like London, Berlin and Detroit over the past few seasons.

Blazy, the former design director, was promoted internally a few days after Daniel Lee suddenly exits in November. This breaking news made headlines for days to come, with many wondering what prompted the split, as Lee helped revive the legacy brand, turning it into a best-selling ticket and a Influential brands, set trends, breathe a new and youthful spirit. into the collection.

Given the success and attention the creative director has brought to the brand for over three years, it seems like a counter-intuitive move.

Because of this upward trajectory, the industry had to wonder what could have caused Lee’s sudden departure. Many people speculate that the parent company KeringThe decision is overdue and must be taken despite the successful streak. It was clear from the outset that the decision was not motivated by financial problems.

Rumors about Lee’s personality have been circulating for some time in the industry, but designers are often cut at some point for being creative. And Lee certainly brings creativity, as his designs, especially accessories – from the signature Pouch bag, introduced in his first collection in 2019, or the Cassette bag and Lido slippers – have all flown off the shelves.

Obviously this is not enough for Kering or Bottega VenetaCEO Leo Rongone, according to sources, has lost key figures in the company, starting with highly regarded and skilled veteran artisans at the company’s headquarters in Vicenza down to key managers who came into conflict with Lee, who is often described as “uninformed. He is also known to work on his own schedule – often at night – making personal relationships, key in such creative positions, more difficult.

Sources also believe that hosting Bottega Veneta’s show in Detroit in October caused great damage, creating more tension and drama than expected – or more than was deemed necessary. One source suggested that Lee was “immediately fired” because of the stress created in Detroit and some of his behavior there.

While sources claim that Lee was shown the door, in a joint statement the exit was identified by Bottega Veneta and the designer as a joint decision. Rongone admits that the designer has “provided Bottega Veneta with a fresh perspective and new modern feel, while respecting the brand’s 50-year heritage,” which has helped develop the brand. But he did not specify the reason for Lee’s departure, which contributed to many questions about the split.

Lee joined Bottega Veneta at the age of 35 on 1 July 2018. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, he was previously the director of the ready-to-wear department at Celine, owned by rival LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. This follows previous periods at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan. Lee succeeds Tomas Maier, who helped shape and elevate Bottega Veneta for 17 years.

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A look from Bottega Veneta’s spring 2021 collection
Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

Blazy, who joined the Italian brand last year, is is expected to build on the new and powerful branding of his predecessor, as he is said to share the same taste as Lee.

Born in 1984 in Paris, Blazy graduated from La Cambre School in Brussels, and he began his fashion career as a menswear designer for Raf Simons.

Blazy spent two years and seven months at Calvin Klein working on men’s and women’s collections and was part of an inner ring that Simons brought to New York. That circle also includes Pieter Mulier, Simons’ longtime number two, who served as creative director at Calvin Klein and joined Simons for runway arcs. Prior to Calvin Klein, Blazy worked in Celine’s studio under then-creative director Phoebe Philo, and for four years at Maison Margiela, which is ultimately responsible for its haute couture line, named Artisanal.

In recent seasons, Lee has fueled the brand with groundbreaking strategies such as deleting Instagram accounts and organizing travel fashion shows in locations including London and Berlin. On the last occasion in early April, the company received some backlash on social media after hosting Salon 2 to parade its fall 2021 collection at the city’s technical club Berghain. . The show drew guests such as British rappers Skepta and Slowthai, DJ Honey Dijon, Nigerian singer Burna Boy, ballet dancer Roberto Bolle and designer Stefano Pilati. But the event was seen as an ill-timed decision as the German city is still under lockdown and grappling with rising COVID-19 cases.

“Social media represents cultural homogeneity,” Lee said in March. “I feel that people are constantly seeing the same flow of information. As a creator, I find that very limiting,” added Lee as the brand revealed Issue No. 01, a quarterly, visual-focused digital magazine that explores an alternative way to interact with collaborators and audiences around the world. It remains to be seen whether Blazy will continue to stay true to Lee’s media strategy.

In 2020, Bottega Veneta is Kering brand whose breakout metrics were revealed to post growth, with sales up 4.8% in comparable condition despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In the third quarter of 2021, home organic sales grew 8.9% year-over-year.

“Bottega Veneta continues to do a great job of attracting new customers, with sales to the younger generations growing faster than average. At the same time, it is consolidating its appeal to existing customers, resulting in a very balanced customer base,” said Jean-Marc Duplaix, Kering’s chief financial officer, at the time. “Bottega Veneta is proving quarter after quarter the success of our strategy as it expands the territory of the house, tightens its exclusivity and becomes a truly global luxury brand.”

Last year, the brand accounted for 9% of Kering’s revenue. Leather goods account for 74% of total sales at Bottega, followed by footwear with 16% and ready-to-wear with only 7%.

https://wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/year-review-bottega-veneta-daniel-lee-surprise-split-1235019687/ Bottega Veneta, Daniel Lee Surprise Exit – WWD

Linh

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