Phoebe Philo’s departure from Celine in 2017 prompted Toronto-based Gabrielle Boucinha to start @oldceline, an Instagram account dedicated to preserving Philo’s legacy at the French brand. The account quickly evolved into a community for Philophiles (as fans of Philo call themselves) to reminisce on the ways the designer produced intelligent and thoughtful fashion for women. Meanwhile, another account of similar ilk is steadily gaining popularity: @newbottega, a six-month-old account that chronicles Bottega Veneta’s transformation under the stewardship of Daniel Lee.
Comprising mostly campaign shots, editorial images, and a careful curate of photos sourced from Instagram, the account is conceived by Italian fashion design student Laura Rossi and has drummed up much support for Lee.
Not that Lee needed much help anyway. With a focus on simplicity, refinement and craftsmanship, Lee’s version of the Italian marque has earned him much goodwill and praise from a new generation of women—especially those weaned on a fashion diet of Philo’s Celine. “For me right now, designing real clothes is more exciting than a fashion message. We really need to establish who our icons are and have a bit of an immediacy around the clothes. I really want to evoke a kind of youthful determination in the work,” he told Vogue.
Upon his appointment, Lee immediately went to work updating Bottega Veneta’s classics: Its famous Intrecciato weave, for example, was magnified on bags so that they resembled abstract panels. He highlighted Bottega Veneta’s leather expertise via a fall/winter 2019 collection filled with motocross jackets, woven skirts and dresses. “Bottega is a brand that talks about sophisticated elegance. It’s almost about being quiet. A silence in all the noise. A kind of stillness,” he added in the interview. Female rounds up the highlights that has made Lee’s tenure at Bottega Veneta one to keep on your radar.
What can be more alluring than the image of top model Saskia De Brauw in a slick leather trench coat? Lee let the world in on his plans for Bottega Veneta with a raw and sensual campaign that also ushered the brand into a new age of minimalism. A finely ribbed tank top, an understated jacket and a louche pair of leather trousers were the other stars of the Tyrone Lebon-lensed campaign.
Aptly named The Pouch, this handy clutch is one of the first bags rolled out by Lee. Its classic and effortless design has won over women from all over the world, including the likes of Rosie-Huntington Whiteley and Tamu McPherson. The Pouch is not only functional—it photographs well for Instagram too. Time to score one if you want to rack up the “Likes”.
Lee proved his mettle at some of fashion’s biggest names such as Balenciaga, Donna Karan and Maison Margiela. Prior to his appointment at Bottega Veneta, he was the Director of ready-to-wear at Celine during Philo’s time. Naturally, Lee’s designs have been touted as the must-haves for the discerning woman. For his debut fall/winter 2019 runway collection, Lee worked his magic on fine knits, silks and leather to conjure a fresh interpretation of a contemporary wardrobe.
Lee’s footwear designs for Bottega Veneta have been making their rounds on Instagram, too. From a square-shaped toe front sandal to a quilted low-heeled pump, the shoes are perfect companions that walk the line between formal and casual with ease.