Cover Photo: Tyrone Lebon

The former Bottega Veneta designer will replace Riccardo Tisci at the helm of the British fashion house. What will New Burberry look like?

Burberry has appointed Daniel Lee as its new chief creative officer, mere days after the British fashion brand showcased its spring/summer 2023 fashion show in London.

Lee will replace fashion designer Riccardo Tisci, who has stepped down after a four-year tenure at the helm of Burberry. The aforementioned SS23 collection was Tisci’s final one.

Officially, Lee will join Burberry on October 3. He will be based at the fashion brand’s headquarters in London, where he will oversee all Burberry collections. He will unveil his debut collection for the brand at London Fashion Week in February 2023.

Burberry CEO Jonathan Akeroyd, who hired Lee, is pretty optimistic, saying in a statement: “Daniel is an exceptional talent with a unique understanding of today’s luxury consumer and a strong record of commercial success, and his appointment reinforces the ambitions we have for Burberry. I am excited about working closely with him and I am confident he will have the impact we are aiming for in this next phase, supported by our talented and experienced teams.” 

Read more: Burberry Confirms Daniel Lee as Chief Creative Officer After Riccardo Tisci’s Departure

Lee certainly has the fashion qualifications to lead the 166-year-old British fashion house. Following stints at Maison Margiela and Balenciaga (then headed by Nicolas Ghesquière), Lee worked alongside Phoebe Philo at Céline at the height of the French brand’s influence. But he truly made his mark in fashion at Bottega Veneta, where he served as creative director from 2018 to 2021.

Lee’s effect on Bottega Veneta was nothing short of a runaway success: he revived the Italian fashion house by reinterpreting its heritage, most notably its intrecciato weave, through a contemporary and Instagram-friendly lens. The bags and shoes that he introduced, in particular, were approved by the fashion crowd—what with their striking colours, shapes and textures. During Lee’s three-year tenure, Bottega Veneta regularly landed on fashion search platform Lyst’s data-driven reports of the most in-demand fashion brands and products.

At Bottega Veneta, Lee wasn’t just a money-making fashion designer, but an award-winning one. In 2019, he bagged four accolades at the Fashion Awards: Designer of the Year, British Designer of the Year Womenswear, Accessories Designer of the Year and Brand of the Year.

In case you missed it: End of An Era: 10 Daniel Lee Bottega Veneta Pieces You Need to Invest In

One can easily see Lee working the same magic on Burberry, perhaps by launching cult-favourite accessories that play with the brand’s iconic check, or somehow reimagining Burberry’s trench coat as a trendy, must-have wardrobe piece that would go viral on Instagram and TikTok (much like a particular Miu Miu set).

It helps that Lee already has a coterie of celebrity fans to support him, such as Kendall Jenner, Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Burberry ambassador Irina Shayk. Like his predecessor Tisci, Lee also has connections with the cool creatives of London’s music scene that have recently populated Burberry’s fashion shows, including rappers Stormzy and Skepta. Even under Lee’s direction, Burberry’s star-studded front row might not change much.

Don't miss: Your First Look at Bottega Veneta’s Star-Studded Wardrobe 02 Campaign

Perhaps another case to make for Lee’s compatibility with his new role is simply the fact that he’s British. The 36-year-old grew up in Yorkshire, which happens to be the English city where Burberry creates its signature trench coats. Lee could prove to be better versed in expressing the house’s British heritage and tapping onto the youthful, eclectic heart of London’s fashion scene than Tisci.

As an Italian native, Tisci’s outsider perspective of Britishness—including surface-level nods to London’s style subcultures, outdated visions of the English lady and gentlemen, and both combined—were somewhat less convincing on Burberry’s runways.

And while Lee has said that he intends to continue Tisci’s legacy, here’s hoping that he... doesn’t. Instead, just as he previously revitalised the fashion world with New Bottega, perhaps it’s time for him to introduce New Burberry.

Tatler Asia
© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.