It hasn't even been 24 hours since we learned that Daniel Lee would be leaving Bottega Veneta after three years at the label, but everyone is already speculating who could potentially succeed him – and where he will go next.
Shortly after the initial announcement, WWD published a piece that revealed that Lee was (most likely) fired with immediate effect following the label's latest show in Detroit, with several quotes from former members of Lee's team alluding to them being “unhappy with the atmosphere at the company.”
Of course, nothing has been revealed by parent company Kering or by Lee himself, as the two referred to the split as a "joint decision." However, in the press release, Bottega referred to Lee's time at the label as a "collaboration." Ouch?
During his short-lived, three-year long tenure at the label, Lee brought Bottega out of the shadows and into the big leagues, making it the go-to label for fashion's elite and influencers worldwide. With silhouettes including the Pouch bag and the Cassette reigning supreme on Instagram, the label became the brand that all the it-girls wore. However, it seems that no amount of Padded Cassette's could save him in the end.
What Daniel Lee achieved at Bottega is undoubtedly something that other brands in the luxury sector will want to replicate, and he could be just the right person to do it. After the surprising announcement, I spent multiple hours chatting to people on social media, browsing the internet for theories and speculations. None left me any wiser.
Last month, Loro Piana revealed a collaboration with fragment, which proved that even some of the most timeless and low-key luxury brands are in need of a rebrand. Or at least relevance amongst the younger consumer, something that Lee very much understands (despite deleting the BV Instagram, that was a terrible move).
If fashion Twitter got to decide? He's going to Burberry.
Lee is of course English, and would be a great fit to bridge Burberry's timeless heritage with modern design cues and luxury silhouettes. However, where does that leave Riccardo Tisci? Where will he go?
Perhaps, Lee could also be reuniting with our one and only queen Phoebe Philo, who he assisted at Céline prior to her departure. Philo is famously starting her own eponymous label with backing from LVMH, so the move would definitely be a spicy one.
He could also be starting his own brand. Honestly at this point, who knows? We're just waiting for all the tea.
As for who will be succeeding Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta? The most logical choice would be Matthieu Blazy, who currently works as the label's design director.
But hey, if we're not using logic, let's go crazy with theories. Perhaps Kanye West? He's been wearing a lot of Bottega lately alongside his ever-growing Balenciaga collection. Or perhaps Demna will pull a Kim Jones and take on two labels? It would be a first for Kering, but if LVMH can do it, so can they.
Regardless of what happens and who goes where, the ongoing era of designer musical chairs shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If one of the most hyped designers can leave a label at its peak, anything can happen, and we're strapping in for the ride.