After the shock announcement that the “collaboration” between Daniel Lee and Bottega Veneta had now ended, parent company Kering has announced Matthieu Blazy English designer’s replacement and new creative director.
The world moves fast these days but none faster than a fashion empire in need of a quick handover.
In a statement made on their website this morning, Kering confirmed that the 37-year-old French Blazy, who has been design director at Bottega since last summer, would be taking the roles as creative director with immediate effect.
Blazy, who is a graduate of La Cambre in Brussels, started his fashion career as Raf Simons as the Men’s Designer for Raf Simons. He then went on to work at Maison Martin Margiela designing the ‘Artisanal’ line and the Women’s RTW show. In 2014, he became Senior Designer at Céline, before working again with Raf Simons at Calvin Klein from 2016 to 2019. He was appointed RTW Design Director at Bottega Veneta in 2020. A French and Belgian national, he lives between Antwerp and Milan.
The appointment of Blazy to the top spot is not the surprise announcement that many were expecting. The young Frenchman was Lee’s second in command already with great success working behind the scenes. And is far from the wild card that Lee was when he was named in the role, having already established a name for himself in the industry along with a reputation for being both respected and liked.
And with questions still being asked over why Lee would depart the brand when Bottega’s cultural zeitgeist is showing no signs of slowing, this last detail might be the most important.
Since Kering confirmed the departure of 35-year-old Lee, rumours have circulated that the workplace culture at Bottega suffered even as the brand excelled during his tenure.
A story in WWD hinted that Lee struggled when it came to communicating with key figures within the company. Turnover at the brand under his command was also high, and according to an unnamed source in the article, the stress and drama that happened behind the scenes of the most recent Detroit show “might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
If all this feels familiar to you, you’re not wrong. This sudden-exit-and-promotion narrative was how Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s game changer, ascended to become one of the most influential names in the fashion.
Time will only tell if Blazy will continue Bottega’s momentum or take it even further.