MILAN — Bottega Veneta is the latest designer brand to meld its men’s and women’s shows into one, revealing plans to present its men’s and women’s spring 2017 collections together in September. The event is meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand and the 15th year of Tomas Maier as creative director.
“I really like to organize this special show to celebrate these two milestones that are particularly meaningful to me, also taking the opportunity to widely gather contributors and supporters of Bottega Veneta,” said Maier.
The company is seeking a “dedicated special location” for the show, which it has yet to reveal. Bottega Veneta usually holds its shows at its Milan headquarters but it is understood that space is not large enough to accommodate the bigger number of attendees that is expected.
Explaining the reasons behind the decision to present the men’s and women’s collections together, Maier said: “The Bottega Veneta universe is built on both genders, showing both women and men together is an organic move that follows the evolution of my creative vision.”
Maier told WWD last month that he “could consider” showing women’s and men’s collections at the same time and that the anniversaries “could be a nice opportunity to open up to a broader audience, my peers and to people in the company. That would be nice.” He’s shown some pre-collection looks on the brand’s men’s runway in the past, adding that this was “an interesting topic. We have to find a new way, a solution and the experience should be enjoyable.”
But the designer remains firmly against the idea of a see-now-buy-now show for Bottega Veneta. The company “remains committed to a timing of presentation and launch that gives the production the time necessary to create a sophisticated handcrafted collection that conveys a dream even before it hits the boutiques,” he said.
As for what will happen in June when Bottega Veneta historically has shown its men’s fall collections, the company said it plans to hold a presentation during Milan Men’s Fashion Week “to anticipate” the combined fashion show in September.
Although it is unclear whether September’s format could be repeated beyond the celebrations this year, the company may decide to pursue it. This would follow other brands including Bottega’s stablemate in Kering, Gucci. In April, Gucci decided to go coed with its shows starting next year, although no decision has been made on whether the shows will be staged in January and June during Milan Men’s Fashion Week, or in February and September during the women’s shows. At the time, creative director Alessandro Michele said it was a “natural” step for him. What works for Gucci and Bottega Veneta may not work for other Kering brands, as Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney have not revealed similar decisions.
Outside the Kering realm, Burberry and Tom Ford, for example, have opted to show men’s and women’s together but in a seasonless — or see-now-buy-now — mode.