Fashion History: Bottega Veneta

Fashion History #9: “When your own initials are enough” — Bottega Veneta

Image via Bibi Pace at Unsplash

Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro founded Bottega Veneta in 1966 in Vicenza, Italy. Taddei and Zengiaro left control of the brand in the 1970s. Soon the “control” of Bottega Veneta was given to Taddei’s ex-wife, Laura Moltedo.

According to Brandy at Budget Fashionista, Bottega was originally known for its quality leather goods like luggage, handbags, wallets, and braiding techniques. Unlike other luxury brands, Bottega has subtle and “not-so-flashy” patterns that they use for their products (2020).

By the 1980s, Bottega gained its first recognition by famous artists and celebrities like Andy Warhol.

According to Rebag, in the 90s, there was a logo craze that many brands utilize for their products. Bottega also dived into some trendier designs . However, this major change caused a decrease in their brand’s popularity (2020).

Through the years, the brand had several artistic changes but the essence of the simplistic style continues to stay the same. These artistic visions came from previous creative directors and designers like Giles Deacon, Katie Grand, and Stuart Vevers.

Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

In 2001, Bottega Veneta was acquired by Gucci Group. This was when Bottega regained some of its popularity again as a brand.

While Bottega was making its transition, Tomas Maier was appointed as a new creative director. Maier focused on Bottega’s famous intrecciato weave and he wanted to repurpose the brand’s early ideologies (Rebag, 2020).

“Intrecciato” means intertwined in Italian. It’s a specific braiding / woven style that weaves the leather over and under each other. This style makes a product (like a purse) strong and durable.

Since 2018, Daniel Lee has been appointed as a creative director. Although he’s fairly young, he has an impressive track record in the fashion industry. For example, Lee had worked at Celine, Maison Margiela, and Balenciaga.

When Lee stepped into the role, he wanted the “new Bottega” to be clean and to focus on the brand’s essential products (via Rebag, 2020). This also meant that he wanted to continue the brand’s simplistic and not logo-driven products too.

Therefore, he created new products and rebooted the men’s ready-to-wear collection. Because of his creativity and simplistic style, his idea swept the fashion industry by storm.

Specifically, Lee was the mastermind behind Bottega’s “it bag.” This bag is an oversize pouch that comes in an assortment of colors and sizes.

Lee shared with Tim Blanks at the Business of Fashion that the pouch has no logo, shoulder straps, and it’s not functional. However, it’s soft and undeniably photogenic which is an important element for this generation.

This bag seems to be an accidental success as Lee was shocked that the numbers were rising and everybody wanted to get their hands on the pouch.

Carlav82, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

As of 2020, there are 251 Bottega Veneta boutiques in over 40 countries. According to Luxury Launches, the largest Bottega boutique is over 11,000 square-foot.

In the boutique, it sells every product that Bottega has ever made like, ready-to-wear, fragrance, and home collections.

Overall, Bottega Veneta is the perfect brand for fashion lovers who like simplicity in their fashion. Most importantly, they have a soft spot for the craftsmanship of a brand. Since the late-60s, Bottega has always focused on the quality of the product than it is on the name.

Although one can argue that many luxury brands tend to be that way. It’s important to remember that Bottega doesn’t have flashy logos on its products. While most luxury brands make it known that you’re wearing and/or using their products.

Furthermore, if you browse through Bottega Veneta’s website, you’ll see that most of their items are one color. There are a few eye-catching patterns, colors, and statement pieces too.

Other than those few pieces, Bottega is a simplistic and versatile luxury brand. It continues to be one of the most beloved brands on the market.

References:

Blanks, T. (2020, February 21). How Daniel LEE Reinvented Bottega Veneta. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/luxury/how-daniel-lee-reinvented-bottega-veneta

Brandy, A. (2020, December 12). Bottega Veneta Spotlight — and what a $9k outfit looks like. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from https://www.thebudgetfashionista.com/archive/bottega-veneta/

M., T., S., K., & Aks. (2020, November 27). Bottega Veneta 101: A history. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from https://rebag.com/thevault/bottega-veneta-101-a-history/

© 2020–2021 Jennifer Shreve All Rights Reserved | Contact Me: https://forms.gle/x77iXMzx9ZjaSt7TA

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