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BOTTEGA, ACT TWO: Bottega Veneta opened its first London store last week and it’s all about form and function, leather and louvers.

This story first appeared in the July 29, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The 2,700-square-foot unit, at 33 Sloane Street, was designed by the American architect William Sofield. It is the second new-generation Bottega flagship since the new unit on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris opened earlier this month.

Colored electrical cords are exposed, as are the bolts on the leather handles of display cases. The display windows feature long, vertical louvers made from palm wood that can be shifted to regulate the light from the street. Bags will be “tossed casually” on the benches in the window, like one does at home, said creative director Thomas Maier.

“This store is about ease and function,” Maier said. “I didn’t want anything to be fussy.”

There are mohair velvet benches, corduroy wool carpets and American limestone floors, while glass display cases are covered or lined with ultrasuede.

The company, whose annual sales financial sources estimated at $55 million, would not reveal first-year projections for the store. By yearend, the company will count 44 stores worldwide, including nine in the U.S., eight in Europe and 27 in Japan.