How Daniel Lee Could Change Burberry

What now for the iconic British fashion house?

How Daniel Lee Could Change Burberry
Yaseen Dockrat

Merely 48 hours after presenting Burberry’s SS/2023 show, news circulated that it would be Riccardo Tisci’s final collection for the brand. Ultimately proved accurate, news broke that Daniel Lee had been named creative director at the brand starting almost immediately, (well, October 3 to be correct).

Despite change, Tisci’s time at the brand was deemed successful. After taking over in 2018, Burberry saw a 21 percent increase in revenue to a staggering $3.72 billion, its highest in five years. Tisci brought his accomplished design to Burberry, and his time as head honcho of a brand that is steeped in tradition and prestige offered an ode to the past. Reimagining some part of the brand’s iconography, Tisci dug into the archives and unearthed the forgotten TB monogram, which under his direction found a new home on loafers, belt buckles and bags.

But as the winds of change issue in a new era at the famed British house, Daniel Lee will bring his aesthetic to the house. It will be interesting to see how Lee settles into his role at Burberry. The English designer will no doubt understand the heritage of Burberry, and his approach to the role will no doubt draw attention.

Meanwhile, Lee has proved revolutionary at Italian Label Bottega Veneta – shifting perceptions from luxe leather to hype – and developing a cult following in the process. If Burberry is looking for real change, then Lee can be seen as the perfect candidate. But what does his arrival at the brand mean, and what can fashion lovers expect to see from the famed English house?

Daniel Lee

Revamping Iconography

It’s almost a given that when new creative directors take over a brand, they want to stamp their arrival almost immediately. Although Tisci already changed the brand’s iconography, Lee will want to steer the ship in his direction. At Bottega Veneta, Lee stayed clear from delving into Logo changes, instead, his design aesthetic brought about the change. It remains to be seen if Lee will bring his hype aesthetic to Burberry.

Transforming the logo has proven to be a popular starting point for designers who have been appointed at iconic brands in recent years. If Lee does indeed delve into logo change, he would only be following in the footsteps of Demna at Balenciaga and Heidi Slimane – the king of the logo change – who has redesigned motifs when starting at Dior, Saint Laurent, and Celine.

Burberry’s Famed Trench

Daniel Lee

If there is one item that is synonymous with Burberry, it’s the brand’s iconic trench coat. Down in the annals of fashion history, it would surely seen as sacred. However. the reworking of such a renowned piece would certainly be a powerhouse move.

Co-ed Collections

During his time at Celine, Balenciaga, and Bottega, Lee has brought about an aesthetic that speaks of minimalism and youthfulness. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a Burberry that offers both women and menswear in sleek outer silhouettes and sharp tailoring on soft fabrications. Lee’s transformation would almost certainly come with a British twist, which could usher in a new part of Burberry history.

Burberry’s Iconic Tartan Print

If the trench coat is synonymous with Burberry, the house’s tartan print is equally so. Found on the interior lining and lapel of coats, on bags, scarves and other items, its traditional roots may be looking for something of an update. Lee built a colour prism and changed the accessory and shoe game with Bottega Green. The designer also brought about a change to the design weave of the house, enlarging it and adding to shoes and clutches. The change ultimately yielded handsome results, breaking Bottega’s sales records in the process.