TRADITIONAL VALUES

Bottega Veneta is going back to its heritage. Last February, the Gucci Group bought the traditional Veneto-based leather goods company from the Moltedo family, and the changes began. Putting its ready-to-wear collections aside — at least for now — the company has opted to focus on the real deal: accessories, accessories and more accessories.
Or, as Tomas Maier, the newly appointed creative director, put it: “a collection that is a marriage of luxury and functionality, classic and new.” And individual whimsy, as well. According to Maier, there’s nothing the company can’t do. He says that he is able to make anything that strikes his fancy, and is even encouraging special requests. Woven leather pillows? No problem. Dog collars? You bet. How about that bag, but in pink leather with brown handles? Done. In fact, one customer wandered into the newly renovated via Spiga shop and wanted a version of the basket-woven leather sofa for his boat. Don’t worry, said Maier, just send me the dimensions. Personal requests aside, he offers plenty to choose from, and it all looked great.
He starts with the crux of the company, its traditional basket-weave leather, reworked into soft, unstructured totes, ring-handled shoulder bags and even on wedgie slides and sandals. The designer’s updated vision of the line also includes a new triangle weave, the addition of shots of color, such as pink, and new materials including fringed napa and straw. The bags are lined in suede or leather, and there’s no exposed hardware. Each piece is also numbered in a limited series. Maier praises the company’s exceptional craftsmanship. “We have our own workshops with an incredibly skilled staff,” says the German-born designer, who previously worked at Hermes. “It takes two people and two days to create a woven napa bag, which is made in one seamless piece you can fold. We also offer custom-made bags, which I believe is true luxury: To see something you want and have it.”
And there’s more to come. Maier says there will be a new logo and a new advertising campaign, which are still in the “conceptual stage.”