Burberry appoints Daniel Lee as its Creative Director

LONDON – Burberry has appointed Daniel Lee as its new creative director. After months of speculation, the news comes less than 48 hours after Italian designer Riccardo Tisci’s runway show – a proven collection of his swan songs with the British luxury house.

The appointment, announced Wednesday, marks the return of a British designer to the top of Britain’s largest luxury brand by sales. The company reported revenue of £2.8 billion (now $3 billion) for the year ended April 2. It was also the most dramatic change for the company under the chief executive. new, Jonathan Akeroyd.

Mr. Lee, 36, was most recently the creative director of Bottega Veneta from 2018 to 2021, when his sudden departure from the Italian label he turned into a hit machine that shocked the fashion world, raised eyebrows. His appointment at Burberry comes six months after Mr Akeroyd’s arrival, as Burberry is looking to reposition itself after its lackluster success under Mr. Tisci and its former chief executive, Marco Gobbetti. (an Italian).

Mr. Lee, who was born in Bradford, northern England, will join Burberry on Monday and oversee all of Burberry’s collections, according to a statement from the brand. He will present his debut runway collection for Burberry during London Fashion Week in February.

“Daniel is an exceptional talent with a unique understanding of today’s luxury consumer and a strong record of commercial success,” Mr. Akeroyd said in the statement, “and his appointment. strengthens our ambitions for Burberry.”

Mr. Lee, who has also worked at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan and Celine, went from a relatively unknown star to an industry superstar in less than three years at Bottega Veneta, receiving a standing ovation. critical acclaim and industry awards. He’s delivered soaring sales thanks to his slick shoe and handbag designs, including a leather pouch and a square toe knit pump. But despite his talent for creating commercial success, behind-the-scenes speculation is constantly simmering about how he works. There was a high turnover of staff and when he left the Italian company last November, no reason was given.

Mr. Tisci, who replaced Christopher Bailey, is leaving Burberry after almost 5 years, a period in which he sought to modernize its services and logos and appeal to a younger, more diverse clientele. However, skyrocketing prices and slick but soulless designs meant that Burberry never reached the heights that fans and investors alike hoped for – or Mr. Tisci was able to create there. his previous job at Givenchy. Burberry has also lost touch with the British heritage that sets it apart from every other major luxury brand.

His spring collection, which is supposed to be shown during London Fashion Week, was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Instead, the event takes place on a Monday – prompting much of the fashion industry to bounce back from shows in Milan and Paris for a dreary showcase.

Mr Akeroyd, formerly the chief executive of Versace and Alexander McQueen, has been vocal since his arrival earlier this year about Burberry’s desire to put more emphasis on Britishness. And Mr. Lee is considered one of the greatest British design talents in the world.

Luca Solca, a luxury goods analyst at research firm Sanford C. Bernstein, notes that Mr. Lee “has proven capable of creating a very successful new chapter for Bottega Veneta – particularly with shoes and bags. handbags – and so far Burberry has struggled to make it stand out in these categories and produce highly iconic products. “

On Wednesday, Mr. Lee said in Burberry’s statement that he was delighted to be back in London.

“It was a city that advocated pioneering creativity and that continues to inspire me,” he said. “Together with the team, we will write the exciting next chapter for this legendary British luxury brand.”

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