Daniel Lee Makes His Burberry Debut With A Future-Facing AW23 Collection

The new Chief Creative Officer honors the house’s past while bringing it into a colorful, energized present at LFW.

A debut is meant to be splashy, paradigm-shifting, unexpected, and obvious. It must meet a set of known and unwritten standards about what a collection from a specific fashion house should be—while also pushing the house toward what it could be, if it dared. Straddling this gap between the past and the future is a task Daniel Lee proved he’s more than up for in his debut as Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, succeeding Ricardo Tisci. The captivating London Fashion Week presentation of the House’s AW23 collection introduced a Burberry both recognizable and revolutionary.



There to witness the unveiling of Lee’s Burberry were a variety of high-profile guests, including Honey Dijon, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jodie Comer, Selma Blair, Naomi Campbell, Future, Juergen Teller, Martine Rose, and Grace Wales Bonner. The show took place in London’s Kennington Park in a show space designed by Lee, who drew on 19th and 20th-century Burberry tents for inspiration.


Staples of the house like the classic check pattern are transformed by a refreshing palette of jewel tones, bright yellows and blues, and even an acidic purple hue. Silhouettes are mostly oversized but still manage to convey and frame the body in interesting ways. There’s a distinct drama to the collection—which features floppy faux-fur and duck-shaped hats, kilts worn over trousers, and coats crafted to resemble flames—that marks Lee’s vision for the house as one that’s playful and comfortable with excess.

Lee doesn’t forget about the Englishness of it all, Burberry being one of the quintessential English fashion houses and his debut happening at London Fashion Week. First and foremost, he resurrects the Equestrian Knight Design, an older house motif that features an armored knight riding on an equally-decorated horse. The knight carries a flag that reads “Prorsum,” Latin for forwards—an apt description of Lee’s direction with the brand. Other nods to the house’s heritage include the motif of the English rose, dyed an electric shade of blue and splashed across a sweater, and equestrian boots. 

Images Courtesy of Burberry

This isn’t the first time Lee has ushered a legacy brand into a more daring, ultra-modern era. During his three-year tenure at Bottega Veneta, Lee turned the brand into a much-hyped luxury fashion brand with covetable products like the Pouch clutch. As with Burberry, he kept the core elements of the Italian house—such as remaining logoless—while re-contextualizing the brand for a new audience. 

Images Courtesy Of Burberry

It would be easy for any maverick creative director to step in and turn everything upside-down, but Lee’s twists and tweaks are thoughtfully done, demonstrating a thorough evaluation of the house’s ethos and essence. The made-over and made-up elements are perfectly balanced in the collection via new creations and callbacks that honor Burberry’s storied past. As for what’s to come during Lee’s reign at the house, Burberry AW23 is undeniably a good omen.

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