When Daniel Lee, Celine’s former director of ready-to-wear, took the helm at Bottega Veneta in 2017, fashion lovers in search of their Phoebe Philo-era fix took notice. And they were not disappointed, as Lee's premiere collection proved the British designer was a master at elegant simplicity. That mastery has paid off: On Monday night, Bottega Veneta cleaned up at the British Fashion Awards, taking home more than any other brand, with four awards total: Brand of the Year, British Designer of the Year Womenswear, and Designer of the Year.
The wins come as no surprise if you follow the money. In November, the Global fashion search platform Lyst revealed its quarterly trend report, naming the most coveted brands and products of the season, and breaking down the data behind the shopping habits of more than five million shoppers. Under the creative directorship of Lee, Bottega Veneta has entered the top 20 brands for the first time, climbing 21 places in the ranking from last year. The brand's popularity has caused fashion insiders to dub Bottega the “New Celine.” Its Lido shoe, spotted on the feet of the fashionable during fashion month, is officially the world’s hottest shoe, thanks to a surge of over 27,000 online searches per month last quarter. It also helps that the shoe has remained a staple for celebrity fans such as Rihanna.
For context, the Fashion Awards are the British equivalent of the CFDA Awards in America, which take place in June and are considered the Oscars of fashion. But more than that, the awards are the British Fashion Council’s biggest annual fundraiser, with proceeds going towards education and business initiatives, as well as mentoring programs. There’s a beautiful circularity to the awards – they celebrate the industry’s most powerful people while paving the way for its future stars.
For his spring 2020 fashion show, Lee’s work cements that Bottega is no longer just a reliable brand known for sturdy-yet-chic shoes and handbags. There is a distinct coolness with Lee's offering. And it's exactly what the fashion industry's been missing.