Daniel Lee, the designer credited with revitalising the luxury vogue label Bottega Veneta is leaving the brand.

A statement asserting the information suggests it is a “joint determination to conclusion their collaboration”. But it is a shock to the trend sector. Lee, who joined Bottega Veneta in July 2018, has quickly produced it one particular of the world’s best manufacturers. For the duration of his tenure, patterns experienced been worn by Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and Mary J Blige, and components including the “pouch” bag and woven leather-based “Lido” sandals turned really sought-immediately after and much imitated. Sales rose 2.2% to just about €1.2bn (£1bn) in 2019 and stored growing in 2020, inspite of the rest of the luxurious current market falling by 23%. In the third quarter of 2021, revenues rose 8.9% 12 months on year.

Influencer Jessica Wang with the pouch bag at New York vogue 7 days in 2019. Photograph: Christian Vierig/Getty Pictures

Fashion’s rumour mill has presently recommended different explanations powering the split. Lee formerly labored at Celine below Phoebe Philo and, with Philo’s possess manufacturer generating its a great deal-expected debut up coming year, marketplace insiders are speculating he may be joining her. “Welcoming all theories,” wrote Diet plan Prada on its Instagram write-up announcing the information. “Ours? LVMH has poached him back to do the job underneath Phoebe Philo’s however-to-debut eponymous manufacturer lol.”

Women’s Use Daily indicates Lee’s means of doing work experienced been tough, with a lot of team members leaving Bottega Veneta. It estimates a resource saying: “There’s no denying his talent, but on a personal degree, handling relations is an additional issue – also specified his performing hours, often at night. So a lot of individuals remaining, it was a revolving door.” A presentation in Detroit previous thirty day period, and the pressure included placing it alongside one another, may be the celebration that led to Lee leaving the brand name.

Models on the runway for Bottega Veneta’s AW20 collection, designed by Lee
Styles on the runway for Bottega Veneta’s AW20 selection, designed by Lee. Photograph: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Teo van den Broeke, Style Director at GQ, also speculated that the functioning tradition may be the offender. “Did something untoward occur inside of the airy ateliers of Bottega Veneta’s By using Privata Ercole Marelli headquarters in Milan?” he wrote. “Chances are we’ll in no way know, but there’s small question that a seismic event happened in buy to precipitate these adjust at these velocity.”

Lee’s Bottega Veneta had a disruptive tactic to communication. Social media accounts, now a presented for luxury makes, were being deleted by Bottega Veneta at the commence of 2021. When this was hailed as radical – and has given that been copied by other brands – other pivots have been much less profitable. Bottega Veneta did not have interaction with digital style reveals during the pandemic, and has since utilized invite only salon-type displays in London, Berlin and Detroit. An following-bash in Berlin in April – for the duration of lockdown in the metropolis – was criticised on social media. “This is so fucking immoral, we are in a MF lockdown in this article in Berlin,” wrote influencer Loona Hamilton.

Lee with Mary J Blige in Detroit last month
Lee with Mary J Blige in Detroit previous month Photograph: Craig Barritt/Getty Visuals for Bottega Veneta

In the brand assertion announcing the split, François-Henri Pinault, the chairman of Kering, the luxury group that owns Bottega Veneta, mentioned: “I am really grateful to Daniel for owning brought his enthusiasm and electricity to Bottega Veneta. His singular eyesight built the House’s heritage appropriate for today and place it back again to the centre of the style scene. I would like to individually thank him for the special chapter that he has published in the extended background of Bottega Veneta.” Lee commented: “My time at Bottega Veneta has been an incredible working experience. I am grateful to have worked with an outstanding and gifted team and I am permanently grateful to everybody who was aspect of making our vision.”

Even though the assertion ends with a take note that “a new innovative organisation for the Property will be introduced soon”, it is unclear who will just take Lee’s put. Women’s Don Every day suggest that the manufacturer may possibly promote a member of the style team, these as design director Matthieu Blazy. This tactic has been used at Gucci, another Kering model. Alessandro Michele, formerly portion of the design and style crew, has experienced good achievements since starting to be inventive director in 2015.