Every so often, rumors begin to circulate that a designer is leaving a major maison. This time around, they proved correct: As of Wednesday, Daniel Lee has replaced Riccardo Tisci at the helm of Burberry. The news comes just 48 hours after the latter’s spring 2023 showing (an ode to the beach that was originally canceled following the death of Queen Elizabeth II). “I am honoured to join Burberry as Chief Creative Officer,” Lee said in a statement. “Together with the team, we will write the exciting next chapter for this legendary British luxury brand, continuing its historic heritage and building on Riccardo’s legacy. I am very excited to be returning to London, a city that champions pioneering creativity and that continues to inspire me.”
Lee’s abrupt and unexplained departure from Bottega Veneta last November fully shocked the industry. The 36-year-old British-born designer was credited with transforming the house from what he once described as a “a bit of a sleeping giant” to one of the most talked-about brands in fashion since mid-2018, due largely to his must-have accessory offerings. He rejuvenated Bottega’s longtime woven leather bags—now a street style staple—and for many, the house’s unisex Tire boots have become a go-to. Thanks in part to celebrity fans like Megan Thee Stallion and Kendall Jenner, he was also responsible for making kelly green an unmissable color. Those achievements are all the more impressive given that Lee made the bold move to delete Bottega’s Instagram—something most designers would consider unfathomable, but got so many people talking that it ended up working in the house’s favor. It’s no wonder the designer has seen such success: He cut his teeth working for the beloved Phoebe Philo at what was then known as Céline.
To mark the end of his nearly five year tenure, Tisci also issued a statement. “Burberry is a very special place with a magical past and a very promising future,” he wrote. “The chapter I was asked to write in its long story is one that I am incredibly proud of and one I have decided would culminate with my show on Monday. I thrived to continue a legacy of innovation, and consistently championed for creativity and diversity, in order to always keep Burberry moving forward.” Burberry shared the message in an Instagram post, where Tisci hopped into the comments with a black heart emoji.
Tisci saw great success as creative director of Givenchy, which he departed in 2017. But despite his talents the Italian was never considered the most conventional fit for Burberry, where he replaced its nods to its British heritage with his signature goth-tinged aesthetic beginning the following year. (Even though he’s had tireless support from celebrity fans like Naomi Campbell and Bella Hadid.) As of Monday morning, there’s no word yet as to where he’s headed next; he hasn’t posted about the news, and his Instagram bio still reads “Creative Chief Office of Burberry.” On the other hand, one thing is for sure: Come London Fashion Week next February, all eyes will be on Lee and Burberry.