Update: Just two days after announcing the departure of creative director Tomas Maier, Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta has found a replacement. Daniel Lee, former director of ready-to-wear at Céline, will take over the creative director role, effective July 1.
In an official statement released by Bottega Veneta's parent company, Kering, its chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault welcomed the designer. "The singularity of his vision inspired by a very personal creative approach convinced me that he was best able to open a new chapter in the history of the house," he said of Lee. After graduating from Central St. Martins, the British designer held design roles Balenciaga, Maison Margiela, and Donna Karan. "His work is characterized by great rigor, a mastery of studio expertise, a true passion for materials and an energy that I cannot wait to see take shape at Bottega Veneta."
Lee is the second lesser-known designer to be appointed to the top creative position at a Kering house. Its most famous delegate, Alessandro Michele, has increased revenue at Gucci by billions since his appointment in 2015; as of its first fiscal quarter, sales are up 48.7%, with $2.2 million in revenue. With a recent revenue decline at Bottega Veneta, Lee has his work cut out for him.
This article was originally published on June 13, 2018.
In an official statement released by the brand's owner Kering, the luxury group did not clarify why Maier is leaving, but instead focused on what he built: "It's largely due to Tomas's high-level creative demands that Bottega Veneta became the House it is today. He put it back on the luxury scene and made it an undisputed reference," said chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault. "With his creative vision, he magnificently showcased the expertise of the House’s artisans. I am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve."
After taking over the position from Tom Ford in 2001, Maier's Bottega eventually found its way out of debt. By 2012, Bottega Veneta surpassed $1 billion in sales. As of 2017, Bottega Veneta was Kering's second-most profitable brand behind Gucci, raking in approximately $1.4 billion in revenue. Though these types of departure announcements usually come as joint statements (see: Christopher Bailey, Phoebe Philo, Kim Jones), Kering's included nothing from Maier himself. Kering could not be reached for a statement, and Bottega Veneta representatives declined to comment further.
Maier recently received praise for using social media-famous models for his last collection for the house, in a move that signaled that Bottega Veneta was attempting to reach a younger consumer. The spring 2018 line was also the first to hit its new (and largest) flagship store location on New York's Madison Avenue in January earlier this year. Check back for updates as we follow this story.