Kering has announced that Matthieu Blazy is assuming the creative director role at Bottega Veneta, following Daniel Lee’s abrupt departure. The news that Lee was stepping down stunned the industry. He did more than revive the Italian luxury goods house; he set the style agenda, as anyone who’s browsed the racks at a fast-fashion chain can tell you. Blazy’s appointment isn’t quite as surprising. He was Lee’s number two at Bottega Veneta from mid-2020, and Kering has had enormous success moving behind-the-scenes designers into the spotlight, see: Alessandro Michele at Gucci.

Also, Blazy is not the unknown that Lee was. The Belgian 37-year-old has been widely respected and liked since he first attracted notice at Maison Margiela Artisanal, where he was head designer in the early 2010s.

Though he maintained the anonymity that the influential house founder was known for, Blazy’s work was distinguished, both attuned to the Margiela codes and of its time. Kanye West famously co-opted the crystal encrusted masks from Artisanal’s fall 2013 couture show for his Yeezus tour.