Burberry appoints Daniel Lee as chief creative officer

British brand Burberry has named former Bottega Veneta creative director, Daniel Lee, as its new chief creative officer following the departure of Riccardo Tisci. Following Tisci’s five years at Burberry, Lee joined Burberry on October 3 with his debut collection to be presented during London Fashion Week in February 2023. 


Tisci’s final show was presented during London Fashion Week on September 26 with the announcement of the change at the house released a few days later. In a Burberry press release eco, Jonathan Akeroyd, described Lee as an: “Exceptional talent with a unique understanding of today’s luxury consumer”.

According to Annelie Helgelin at consumer intelligence company BrandWatch, 66% of social media sentiments shared since the announcement are positive. This comes as no surprise given Lee’s success at Bottega Veneta: according to the Telegraph sales at the house rose 2.2% in 2019 and continued to rise in 2020 despite the pandemic.  However, not everyone shared the same positive sentiments toward Lee.

Following Lee’s departure at Bottega Veneta, social media swirled with rumours that Lee’s departure from the Italian fashion house was linked to the backlash to flouted Covid rules in Berlin during surging Covid cases, and his tension-creating behaviour during the organisation of the 2021 Detroit show according to WWD.

The majority of the negative sentiments shared over social media refer to these allegations: “Daniel Lee parting ways from Bottega was the main drive to this volume,” Helgelin explained. “The allegations that Daniel Lee was fired due to him using racist slurs during a meeting drove a lot of speculation online.” 

Tweet by user Osa Machabbi: "Also, Daniel Lee being appointed at Burberry is the biggest proof that cancel culture is an unrealistic illusion. It only resides on social media. Fashion is a business, the business keeps rolling."
Tweet from stylist and fashion commentator Osa Machabbi

The news of Daniel Lee joining the heritage house raises the question of its reflection on cancel culture and the social media rumour mill. If allegations are to be believed, can Daniel Lee move forward at Burberry – a house with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? Or does the resurfacing of allegations raise the issue of the lack of accountability towards rumours circulated on social media? 


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