"When your own initials are enough"
Synonymous with true craftsmanship, elegant design and quiet luxury, Bottega Veneta is one of the most talked about brands in our current fashion sphere. Having such a strong and recognisable brand identity without loud logos or advertising, Bottega Veneta’s artful design and quality has seen it grow to become one of the most popular brands today . However, it wasn't always a success story for the brand.
Founded in 1966 by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro in Vicenza, Italy, Bottega Veneta, which translates to "Venetian Shop", started with their now signature technique and recognizable motif - the "Intrecciato" weave. At the time, Michele and Renzo only had machinery equipped for working cloth, not leather. Determined to make high quality leather goods for their brand, the founders developed a technique of weaving thin strips of leather to create a more durable textile. The Intrecciato weave became popular for both its look and artistry and has become a key part of Bottega Veneta’s identity.
During the 1970s, Michele and Renzo opened a store in New York, but the brand's quiet approach to luxury proved to be unsuccessful during this time, where loud and flashy were in fashion. By the late 70s, Bottega Venetta was financially struggling to the point where both founders walked away from the brand.
Bottega Veneta Fall 2000
This could have been the end of Bottega Veneta, but Michele's ex-wife, Laura Moltedo, took over. She decided to widen the brand's audience from its small cult fan base by introducing a Ready-To-Wear line. The Fall 2000 Ready-To-Wear collection was one of the earliest collections and highlighted Bottega’s affinity with leather and the Intrecciato weave . The collection stayed true to the brand's core of quiet luxury, even during the logomania craze of the 90’s and 2000’s. Although the new ready-to-wear collections garnered attention, it wasn't the revival Moltedo hoped for.
Bottega Veneta Fall 2001
It was in 1998 that Giles Deacon was appointed the new creative director of Bottega Veneta, as Moltedo was intrigued by his risk taking and playful approach to fashion. Deacon made his debut with Bottega’s Fall 2001 collection, with Vogue stating “Deacon made no bones about the house's shift in direction”. Though Deacon led Bottega down a new route, his collection featuring loud colours, bold patterns and even a monogram “Bottega” print still didn’t bring Bottega their much needed revival
Bottega Veneta 2005 campaign featuring Christy Turlington
In 2001, a majority stake in Bottega Veneta was sold to the Gucci Group. This transition prompted the appointment of a new creative director, Tomas Maier. Under his leadership, the brand's focus shifted back to its high-quality accessories, and Maier cut the brand's Ready-To-Wear line. After four years , Maier debuted his first Ready-To-Wear collection in Fall 2004. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of Bottega Veneta’s newfound success and Thomas Maier is often credited for bringing Bottega back to the forefront of fashion.
Bottega Veneta Fall 2020
In 2018, Tomas Maier resigned after 17 years and Daniel Lee was appointed as the new creative director.
Lee made his debut with Bottega Veneta’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection. Within this collection, Lee introduced a simplified and magnified Intrecciato weave, which became a signature within his design language. Lee’s approach to design drew from his previous experience at Celine and Margiela, which he applied to Bottega's sensibilities. Lee's first collection was met with great success, introducing new staples such as the iconic pouch bag, which became the fastest selling bag in Bottega's history. Lee was able to create significant hype and buzz around the brand , and also introduced the now signature “Bottega Green”. It was under Lee’s direction that the brand removed themselves from all social media platforms, in order to create a more organic and authentic connection with consumers, and it has only added to the brand's allure.
In 2021, the fashion world was surprised to learn that Daniel Lee would be stepping down as creative director of Bottega Veneta. Matthieu Blazy, who had been a member of Lee's design team, was appointed as the new creative director.
With Bottega Veneta's DNA rooted in leather craftsmanship, Blazy has taken this legacy and infused it with new life. In his debut collection, Blazy sparked conversation with a leather tank top and jeans, demonstrating his ability to use leather in unexpected ways. Blazy's latest Fall 2023 collection showcased his talent for trompe-l'œil leather, creating pyjamas and socks all made of the material. The collection also featured leather ball gowns and dresses, showcasing a reinvention of the brand's house code through his innovative use of textiles.