Until two weeks ago, Bottega Veneta was the best example of how to launch a rebrand. Since becoming creative director in 2018, Daniel Lee has transformed the label from a sleepy luxury house into the most coveted brand today. Dubbed the “New Bottega,” it became the It-brand, with stylistic influence that has yet to even reach its full impact. The brand fanned the flame a few months ago by deleting their official Instagram, an indication of their new strategic embrace of mystery. The swelling buzz was at an all-time high when Daniel Lee brought Bottega Veneta to Berlin for their latest presentation, and the brand’s public perception would take a sharp turn.
On April 9th, paparazzi captured select fashion darlings in front of Berghain, a techno club that’s arguably the most famous nightclub in the world and the host of Bottega’s latest show, Salon 02. These photos would serve as the sole attraction for international fashion press, as there are no public images of the show, aligning with the club’s notorious “no photos” policy. Bottega then hosted an afterparty at SoHo House, which several attendees documented on IG Stories. These videos became incriminating evidence of the covid-unfriendly climate of this event, as celebrity guests danced indoors without masks on. The social media backlash was immense, and further details around the event began to leak, like Daniel Lee reportedly refusing to wear a mask throughout production, tarnishing the allure of the event’s secretive nature. With no official statement or official social channels, Bottega Veneta (as well as many attendees) seems to be letting the controversy simmer, all while Berlin grapples with an ever-rising third wave of infections and over six month-long lockdown.