Bottega Veneta has a new designer


After the surprise announcement last week of the departure of Bottega Veneta’s creative director Daniel Lee from the Italian luxury house, a successor has been appointed: Matthieu Blazy, who may not be well known outside of fashion ( much like Mr. Lee when he took the job in 2018) but is well regarded in the industry.

Mr. Blazy, whose resume suggests a cool, craft-oriented aesthetic, has worked with Mr. Lee as the Design Director for the ready-to-wear collections at Bottega Veneta since 2020. His promotion is effective immediately, and its first collection will be presented in February.

Prior to joining Bottega, Mr. Blazy, 37, spent three years at Calvin Klein designing collections for men and women under the direction of Raf Simons, then Creative Director, who referred to Mr. Blazy as ” genius with people “and” ready to lead. “

“He’s a great creative mind,” said Mr. Simons. “He comes with a lot of ideas and a willingness to experiment, and he’s a great motivator for his team.”

Mr. Blazy’s first fashion job, years before he was at Calvin Klein, was also at Mr. Simons, as a designer for Mr. Simons’ namesake brand. When Mr. Blazy left for Maison Martin Margiela, it was to broaden his experience beyond men’s clothing, Mr. Simons said.

It was during his time with Margiela that Mr. Blazy first gained the attention of the fashion media. In 2014, he was revealed as the creator of his handcrafted haute couture line – the identities of these designers were generally kept a secret – and was called, by La Coupe, “the most famous designer you’ve never heard of.” (Indeed, hardly any interviews with Mr. Blazy exist online, even today.)

The following year, the New York Times nominated him for one of the next big jobs in fashion. At the time, he was a senior designer at Celine, where Mr. Lee also worked, and where Mr. Blazy had gone to learn more about the business side of the business, according to Mr. Simons.

In a press release announcing the appointment of Bottega Veneta on Monday, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Bottega’s parent company, Kering, said that “Mr. Blazy’s rich experience and his broad cultural background will enable him to bring his creative impetus to the task of carrying on the legacy of Bottega Veneta. Mr. Blazy is a French and Belgian national who divides his time between Antwerp and Milan.

Leo Rongone, CEO of Bottega, said that “Matthieu’s appointment will further strengthen the modern relevance of our brand and accelerate our growth, while preserving the core values” of the brand.

Much of this “modern relevance” is due to Mr. Lee, who left his mark on the brand with critically and commercially successful leather accessories, including square-toed shoes and handbags, as well as new ones. interpretations of the brand’s signature intrecciato leather weave.

Promoting internally, rather than hiring a top designer from another big name brand, is a strategy that has served Kering well, especially in 2015, when he held the position of Creative Director at Gucci with Alessandro Michele, then the chief accessories designer. .

Robert Burke, founder of a luxury consultancy firm in New York City, called Mr Blazy’s appointment “welcome in the industry” and said he did not expect a “slowdown” in the brand during this transition period.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Mr. Burke said of Mr. Blazy’s new role. “He has clearly already been immersed in the Bottega brand itself.”


Vanessa Friedman contributed reporting.


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