Cover Bottega Veneta has announced the departure of designer Daniel Lee (Photo: Bottega Veneta)

As Daniel Lee says goodbye to his stint at Bottega Veneta, we compiled his most iconic designs you need to acquire before they sell out - and skyrocket in value.

Unless you’re a die-hard fashionista, chances are very few of us might think that fashion––or better yet, accessories––are a sound investment. But as product becomes more exclusive and creativity more in demand, that sentiment just might be changing. Enter our high expectations for British designer Daniel Lee. This past week, he announced that he would be leaving Bottega Veneta, after just three short years and a splashy runway show last month in Detroit, Michigan––where he flew in celebrities and top editors to swoon over his latest designs. And late last year, as the world was still in lockdown, he held a top-secret show in London, attended by guests––including Kanye West––who were banned from bringing their phones inside. 

During his tenure at BV (as insiders call it), Lee dismantled all their social media and refused to adopt a digital fashion show format. He became their de facto disruptor, and in doing so, was given four major prizes at the Fashion Awards in 2019.

If anything, Lee knows how to generate frenzy, exclusivity and desire, so much so that the @newbottega––an Instagram account run by BV Stans–– has amassed 876,000 followers. Lee isn’t just elusive; he also knows exactly how to create a highly coveted It bag––something he might have learned from his former boss. Before joining BV in 2018, Lee worked under creative director Phoebe Philo at Celine and was quickly anointed as the new talent to watch.

But beyond his talent, Daniel Lee also translates into investment. As reported on Twitter by fashion journalist and frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Christina Binkley, Kering stock fell 2.5% following the news that Daniel Lee was leaving Bottega Veneta. In rough numbers, this drop knocked US$860 million off the Pinault family’s wealth. In other words, Lee’s impact is as prolific on the stock market as it is on the runway and the street. Everyone wants to invest in Daniel Lee.

In case you missed it: Daniel Lee and Bottega Veneta are Breaking Up

In the recently released annual luxury resale report, Clair, from e-commerce site Rebag, Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta was the only luxury label to accelerate in value consistently. It went from a high-risk purchase to a low-risk purchase, meaning that his designs will still keep a significant portion of their value in resale. While not at the unicorn levels of Chanel, Vuitton or Dior, Rebar does call out that BV, under Daniel Lee, is the only brand that has continually climbed their luxury index. And as they mapped out the value of every single one of Lee’s IT Bags, his designs have retained more than 85% of their value in resale, vs his predecessor’s BV bags which only reap 35% in value. Leading that charge is the Cassette Belt Bag and the Cassette Cross Body (#3 on our list of Buy Now).

In the meantime, we’ve compiled a list of what you need to get your hands on now. And as any insider fashionista can tell you, you have to be quick, and the true investment level of exclusively coveted items can jump from in-demand to in a museum. Happy Shopping!

1/ The Pouch

The Pouch handbag, which debuted during the autumn-winter 2019 collection, is the first It bag from Bottega Veneta's Daniel Lee era. In addition to the classic cloud-shape silhouette, the chain and cross-body styles––that first appeared in their spring-summer 2020 show––have both become iconic designs and the one that exploded in popularity from day one.

Don't miss: Are Bottega Veneta Bags Worth the Investment?

2/ The Tire

Boots are undoubtedly the most versatile and popular autumn and winter footwear. Available as low, mid and high tops, Bottega Veneta's come in classic black as well as new two-tone colourways.

3/ The Padded Cassette

A Fashion Week street style staple, the Cassette bag is Daniel Lee's playful variation on Bottega Veneta's iconic Intrecciato leather. By enlarging the woven pattern and making it three-dimensional—pillow-like and airy—he blends wearability and luxury perfectly.

4/ The Mini Jodie

The It bag family expands to include the Jodie, a clutch bag that got its name from actress Jodie Foster who was photographed shielding her face from the paparazzi with this It Bag. Available in Bottega Veneta's Intrecciato pattern, it's the mini size that makes it the finishing touch.

5/ The Lido

The Intrecciato is a signature design for the fashion house, and it has also been incorporated into the square-toed heeled Lido sandals. This is an evergreen style worth investing in and is instantly recognisable as Bottega Veneta by Daniel Lee.

6/The Arco

Daniel Lee's Arco for Bottega Veneta features the brand's signature woven elements and conceals small ingenious designs inspired by the Arco della Pace in Milan.

7/ The Stretch

The Stretch––which combines the Bottega square-toed heel with fishnets became an instant hit with fans. With the addition of a gold chain, this design reflects Daniel Lee's rigid yet soft and seductive style.

8/ The Puddle

The Puddle is the perfect embodiment of Daniel Lee's "ugly chic" aesthetic. Riding on the "ugly shoe" trend, these rubber rain boots are cute and colourful and look great with trousers or dresses. It is worth mentioning that these boots are made of environmentally sustainable materials––making them even more fashionable.

9/ The Point

Triangles are a signature element of Daniel Lee's Bottega tenure, featured on buttons, belts and bags across all his collections. Triangles, woven leather, and a rich selection of colours make the Point bag another item worthy of It status.

10/ The BV Green

Daniel Lee's spring-summer 2021 collection, Salon 01, introduced a new green colour for the brand. This shade, commonly known as "Bottega green" paved the way for "Gen Z green" to become the hottest colour of 2021. So whether it's a handbag, shoes, purse or apparel, invest in a green piece as a memento of the Daniel Lee era.