With just three months between his first day on the job and the next edition of London Fashion Week, Daniel Lee, Burberry’s new Creative Director, has a challenging road ahead of him. Factor in the holiday season, returning to London after living in Milan, and onboarding in a new (corporate) company, the design season has effectively been condensed to a mere few weeks.
Some designers work at their best under such circumstances, however. Remember Alessandro Michele’s first collection at Gucci? It was put together in less than a month, and ultimately a triumph for the House.
Burberry will show its first collection by Mr Lee on February 20th, when all eyes will be on the British designer, whose swift exit at the height of a turnaround at Bottega Veneta, remains opaque. What is clear is his skilled hand at creating highly desirable utilitarian items in a way that offers surprise in the re-working of familiar tropes, without needing to reinvent the wheel. This is fashion’s highest accolade, as luxury shoppers rarely need anything, purchasing on merits of covetability. Burberry will be expecting similar results.
A legacy at Bottega Veneta
In his short tenure at Bottega, Mr Lee left a legacy that is still visible, the House’s green hue remains omnipresent, as are replicas of the woven leather bags and shoes that have infiltrated the high street. The colourful rubber puddle boots that debuted years ago have since become a brand staple.
In an interview with Vogue Mr Lee said: “I still feel very honoured that I see the influence of Bottega all around me – you know, when I’m walking down the street.”
Despite being a seasoned designer, Burberry will be Mr Lee’s second creative director role after Bottega Veneta. He cut his teeth at brands including Céline, Balenciaga, Donna Karan and Maison Margiela.
"I'm really happy because it seems to me that I've come full circle," Lee told Vogue. “I haven't lived here (London) full time since Saint Martins. I've been to New York, then Paris and finally Milan, going back and forth between these places and returning to London as an escape or for inspiration. It's nice to be back here and have a real base."