Kering appoints Matthieu Blazy as creative director of Bottega Veneta

French luxury group Kering (PRTP.PA) has appointed Matthieu Blazy as creative director of Bottega Veneta, it said Monday, tapping an insider as it moved quickly to fill the position following the surprise departure of Daniel Lee last week.

Ready-to-wear designer for the upscale Italian label since last year, Blazy worked his way up the fashion ranks, gaining experience at labels including Raf Simons, Maison Margiela and Calvin Klein, and was senior designer at Celine in 2014.

“I am confident that Matthieu Blazy’s wealth of experience and broad cultural background will allow him to bring his creative impetus to the task of carrying on the legacy of Bottega Veneta,” said Kering Chief Executive and Chairman Francois-Henri Pinault.

The departure of Lee, announced last week, took the industry by surprise.

The 35-year-old Central Saint Martins graduate, who was recruited over three years ago to reignite interest in the brand with younger audiences, is credited with raising its profile and sales growth, drawing up popular accessories including pillowy leather clutch handbags and slip-on heels.

Kering has a history of recruiting from its own ranks, boosting the popularity of its star Gucci brand by naming a relatively unknown accessories designer, Alessandro Michele, from within that brand as creative director in 2015.

Along with large French luxury peers, the group has seen a strong sales recovery from the coronavirus crisis this year.

Born in 1984, Blazy graduated from design school La Cambre in Brussels. His first collection will be released in February 2022.