The end of an era! Bottega Veneta and creative director Daniel Lee have parted ways. While noted by the label as a joint decision between Kering Group-owned Bottega Veneta and Lee, some outlets are reporting Lee resigned. The news comes just two weeks after Lee dazzled the fashion world with a Detroit fashion show and pop up.
Taking the position that Lee was fired, WWD has reported the label had no choice but to fire him. According to multiple sources, “Lee was highly creative and influential with his designs, but clashed with several people within the company and was described as uncommunicative.”
Another WWD source said Lee’s night owl work hours combined with his difficult personality caused multiple people to leave the label: “There’s no denying his talent, but on a personal level, handling relations is another matter. Also given his working hours, often at night so many people left, it was a revolving door.”
Commenting on his departure, Lee stated, “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.”
In a press statement, Bottega Veneta CEO Leo Rongone stated, “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.”
Lee was announced as creative director in July 2018 and showed his first Bottega Veneta collection for fall 2019. The 35-year-old immediately brought a sense of freshness and excitement to the 50-year old brand with highly covetable accessories and a trendy green hue commonly known as “Bottega Green.”
In addition to setting trends, the label has been an important contributor to Kering Group’s revenues. In the company’s recent third-quarter earnings report, Bottega Veneta’s revenue amounted to €363.4 million, up 9.3%, much less than Gucci’s revenue of €2,181.8 million during the same period, but still significant.
A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Lee was the director of ready-to-wear for six years at Céline, a label owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. His resume also includes design work at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan. Prior to Lee, Bottega Veneta was led by Tomas Maier, who lead the brand for 17 years.