UPDATE 11/15/21: That was quick! Just days after announcing Daniel Lee's exit, Bottega Veneta this morning appointed Matthieu Blazy as the brand's new creative director with immediate effect. Blazy had been Bottega's design director since last summer, so the move is essentially a promotion to the top spot. He's best known for being Raf Simons' right hand at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC alongside Pieter Mulier. He also held senior design roles at Celine under Phoebe Philo and Maison Margiela Artisanal.

For all the talk about how common it is for designers to leave brands after 3-ish years, I did NOT have Daniel Lee leaving Bottega Veneta on my 2021 bingo card. He joined the brand in mid-2018 so it was written in the stars, I guess, but parting ways after making Bottega hot hot hot?

Things were made even more puzzling when reading the brand's cryptic press release announcing the departure, calling it a joint decision to "end their collaboration." Collaboration? Interesting choice of words. Both Bottega's CEO and parent company Kering's CEO released statements praising Lee's work and contribution to the brand's growth and momentum.

Lee, for what it's worth, thanked the company and for getting the "opportunity to be part of Bottega Veneta's story." Indeed, few could see this coming after the brand just staged a major fashion show in Detroit for which they flew in tons of press for. As far as we know, the bags and accessories are still selling like crazy. But now there are so MANY questions. Especially after the company said a "new creative organization for the House" will be announced soon.

Like, will they stick with the same no-social-media strategy? Will Bottega Green stay? Are they going to keep holding "Salon" shows around the world instead of during Milan Fashion Week? Are they doing away with the creative director format? But, more importantly, where is Daniel Lee going? As someone who memorably sweeped the British Fashion Awards in every category in 2019, he's clearly a hot commodity at the moment.

The streets are saying he could be part of Phoebe Philo's new venture with LVMH (he worked under her at Celine back in the day). Others are speculating that he'll be going over to Burberry after rumors swirled that Riccardo Tisci could be moving to New York for a new gig. Either way, people will be talking about this move for a looong time until Bottega sets the record straight.

Photo via Getty

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