PARIS, France – After Daniel Lee’s sudden departure from Bottega Veneta last week, Kering has announced that Matthieu Blazy, the Milanese label’s ready – to – wear design director since 2020, will be stepping into the role of creative director.
‘Matthiue Blazy is an extraordinarily talented individual, whom I am proud and excited to entrust with the creative helm of our luxury house’, said CEO of Bottega Veneta, Leo Rongone. ‘Bottega Veneta has always been equated with signature craftsmanship and distinctive creativity. Matthieu’s appointment will further enhance the modern relevance of our brand and accelerate our growth, while preserving the values that are at the core of Bottega Veneta.’
Francois – Heneri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering echoed Rongone’s sentiments in his own official statement, writing, ‘Matthieu Blazy’s wealth of experience and broad cultural background will allow him to bring his creative impetus to the task of carrying on the legacy of Bottega Veneta’.
For those who have kept a close eye on recent developments at Bottega Veneta, the appointment will come as no surprise. Blazy has long been referred to as Lee’s ‘number two’, but possesses an impressive resume of his own. Born in Paris, the now 37 – year – old designer is an alumnus of Brussels’s renowned visual arts school La Cambre, and dabbled in menswear for Raf Simons before attracting industry – side attention for his work at Maison Margiela Artisanal. There, Blazy served as head designer in the early 2010s, before moving to create under Phoebe Philo at Celine alongside Lee himself. Blazy then returned to Simons at Calvin Klein in 2016, where he collaborated with Pieter Mulier, now creative director of Alaia.
The ending of Lee’s ‘collaboration’ with Bottega Veneta is still shrouded in relative mystery. The former creative director, instated in July 2018, was credited during his tenure for reviving the label’s popularity, and affirming the relevance of its codes – its signature intrecciato weave, for example – to the modern fashion scene. It takes only seconds of reflection to recall Lee’s most impactful designs during his directorship: his pillow – like pouch, his square – towed woven heel, and his sour green, made so synonymous with the brand the shade is now dubbed ‘Bottega green’.
‘My time at Bottega Veneta has been an incredible experience’, Lee stated. ‘I am grateful to have worked with an exceptional and talented team, and I am forever thankful to everyone who was part of creating our vision’.
Blazy is set to make his collection debut with Bottega Veneta at Milan Fashion Week in February 2022.