In a surprising move that threw the fashion world for a loop last week, Daniel Lee has abruptly left his monumental role at Bottega Veneta, begging the question of who would replace his swift departure from the brand he helmed for a brief, yet impactful, three years. Today, November 16, the news has come that Kering has named designer Matthieu Blazy as Lee's successor, effective immediately.
Blazy – who has been promoted internally from his post as design director of the brand – carries an impressive roster of house names on his resume, including a tenure with Raf Simons at his namesake label and at his brief stint at Calvin Klein, alongside working under Phoebe Philo at Celine (rumour is that Philo personally headhunted Blazy herself). He also previously served as the designer of Maison Margiela’s Artisanal couture line.
The Belgian designer's work over the years has spoken, quietly, for itself amongst industry insiders, with his most notable work being seen during his time at Maison Margiela Artisanal, where, like the founder, he worked anonymously, honouring the design codes of the house and driving it forward. He and Lee crossed over when they both worked under Philo at Celine, and unlike Lee, who stepped into his role at Bottega with little industry knowledge attached to his name, Blazy has been subtly carving out an exacting reputation for himself for over a decade.
This is not an unforeseen move for brand owner Kering either. After all, ensuring brand continuity and consumer trust will be paramount to ensuring Bottega Veneta stays relevant, and who better to do so than the man who has been Lee's number two since mid-2020. A similarly successful move can be referenced back to Alessandro Michele's appointment at Gucci, where he boldly revamped the Italian house in 2016 after being internally promoted to creative director. The tactic Kering will likely be aiming for is a smooth evolution, considering the fervently loyal consumer base Lee built during his time with Bottega Veneta. With Blazy's design background and his overlap with Lee at both Celine and Bottega, it seems natural that he would assume a role at the helm of the brand to honour house codes while hopefully introducing fresh silhouettes.
“The very solid foundations, specific codes and unique identity of Bottega Veneta enable us to nurture great ambitions for the future of this luxury house,” Kering’s chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault said in a statement. “I am confident that Matthieu Blazy’s wealth of experience and broad cultural background will allow him to bring his creative impetus to the task of carrying on the legacy of Bottega Veneta.”