“When your own initials are enough”. This slogan from Bottega Veneta advertisements in the Seventies encapsulates the philosophy underpinning this Italian company which has changed from a little-known manufacturing company to a worldwide ambassador of the made in Italy brand, famous for its signature zig-zag “intrecciato” technique.
Founded in 1966 by Vittorio and Laura Moltedo, who were CEO and creative director respectively, Bottega Veneta began life as a subcontractor for fashion houses like Armani, selling hand-made leather accessories. Its discreet no-logo design and the unusual hand-crafted woven leather technique known as “intrecciato” – which takes many days work – soon led to international success.
Using skilled artisans from the northern Italian region of Veneto (from where it takes its name) Bottega Veneta produces high quality luxurious leather goods from bags to shoes and accessories and now also has its own men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections. The label is aimed at self-confident people sure of their style who want a discrete, sophisticated, elegant and timeless classical look.
The Knot Clutch and Cabat Tote handbags from Bottega Veneta have become coveted cult items much seen in the hands of celebrities, while the luxurious, high-heeled Super Spiga sandal, with its sophisticated intertwining of calf-leather, has graced the feet of many actresses, one famous fan being Penelope Cruz.
Apart from its well renowned hand-woven bags and shoes, Bottega Veneta has recently developed new lines of accessories including perfumes, jewelry and ready-to-wear collections. This is part of a deliberate policy which began in the new millennium to relaunch the Italian brand, after a series of unsuccessful decisions made at the end of the 90’s almost led them to bankruptcy.
In 2000, to recover from this, the Moltedo family decided to put British designer Giles Deacon in charge of creative direction and then later opted to sell the company to the Gucci Group, now part of the French multinational group PPR. With Gucci’s support and the creative guidance of Tomas Maier, Bottega Veneta re-gained its lead in the leather goods’ market.
Since then, Bottega Veneta has gone from one great triumph to another, creating lines of jewelry, home furniture and ready-to wear collections launched for the first time on the catwalk in 2005 and 2006. These successes led the Italian brand to expand its activity on the world stage, opening new flagship stores in Milan, London, Paris and New York as well as creating an important school to train leather-craftspeople. The Scuola della Pelletteria was opened in 2006, to create the next generation of specialized leather artisans skilled in “intrecciato” and many other traditional techniques.
With stores all over the world, one of the first online shops in the history of Italian fashion and an annual turnover of about 400 million Euros, the Italian fashion house dresses a great number of popular stars including Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, and Sarah Jessica Parker. And Bottega Veneta epitomises the philosophy expressed by its creative director Tomas Maier: “If you’re never in fashion, you are never out”.
Bottega Veneta Srl.