Upon receiving the announcement on the appointment of Daniel Lee as Bottega Veneta‘s new creative director, no one really knew what to expect — as not many of us knew who he was, apart from his most recent stint as Celine’s director of ready-to-wear design, and previous positions at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga, and Donna Karen. What we definitely knew, however, was that he had some really big shoes to fill, having to succeed Tomas Maier, who held that same position for 17 years. It was a tricky start for him too, as, according to an interview with Vogue, it was already far into the development stage of the Spring/Summer 2019 creations when he started. Nonetheless, he was able to work with what was already there, and tweaked the designs by cleaning them up and turning them into what he felt was truly ‘Bottega’: a timeless interpretation of the indefinable and transient, which, to him, is the ultimate in luxury.
As the Spring/Summer 2019 collection starts to hit stores, it’s clear that Lee has applied his own creative vision and aesthetics into Bottega Veneta’s new seasonal campaign. Taking inspiration from the Italian neorealist cinema, in which each image encapsulates and cements a different character or persona, Lee called upon photographer Tyrone LeBon, who set off to a private house on the Neapolitan island of Ischia t0 capture a series of natural, unself-conscious images that look as though they’re scenes from a movie. The result? A series of images that are dynamic, essential and free; each representing a different facet of Lee’s vision for the house.
By stripping fashion to its purest form and featuring only the fundamental elements at Bottega Veneta — a fine knit, a coat and the intrecciato leather — these images have provided an intimate look at the codes and heritage of Bottega Veneta, and what it represents in the fashion landscape of today. It also, at the same time, serves as a palate cleanser that resets our perception of the brand (hence the empty instagram page at the moment), getting us ready for a reestablished identity that Lee has envisioned for the house. Interested to see what Lee has planned ahead? Bottega Veneta’s Fall/Winter 2019 collection, the first main collection designed by Lee, will be presented on 22 February 2019 at Milan Fashion Week, so keep an eye out for the show later this month.