Completed article: Bottega History
Bottega Veneta is famous for its bags, wallets, and leather goods. Recently, the company has been actively involved in the field of apparel, and is well known worldwide.
Its history is about 50 years since it was founded, and it is actually a relatively young brand.
In this article, I will explain the history of such Bottega.
It opened in Vicenza, Italy in 1966. A couple of Michele Taddi and Renzo Zenzialo started it up.
BOTTEGA = workshop, and the brand name is “Veneta’s workshop”.
In the early years of the company’s existence, it attracted the attention of the upper class by producing leather goods of the highest quality using traditional Italian methods.
A turning point for the brand
Bottega continued to operate in Italy, but its business performance deteriorated from around 1980. In the midst of this, a turning point came for the brand.
In 2001, the brand was acquired by the Gucci Group. At this time, the battle for the brand was fierce, and Gucci was pursuing a takeover policy to compete with the LVMH Group and Prada Group.
This acquisition was the beginning of the world’s recognition of Bottega’s high technology.
The birth of an ace designer
Although Bottega was acquired, a star designer was born who will lead Bottega for more than 15 years.
His name is Thomas Maier. He had previously worked for Hermès and Sonia Rykiel.
Meier tried to create designs that would take advantage of the brand’s accumulated technical expertise.
Meyer’s values matched with the craftsman’s strong attention to detail. Combined with progressive design, something better than ever was born.
In just two years after his appointment, the brand expanded. New stores were opened in Paris, New York, and London.
His style of developing items while working closely with craftsmen, and never designing for himself, produced results.
The combination of technology, design, and the marketing power of the Gucci Group has made Bottega a global brand.
Between 2001 and 2011, when he took over, profits increased by 800%!
Bottega as a fashion brand
Bottega is famous for its “intrecciato,” which has become synonymous with the brand.
Bottega is famous for its “intrecciato,” which has become synonymous with the brand’s signature woven leather design and smooth feel.
After its acquisition by Gucci, Bottega grew into a fashion brand. It started selling jewelry, accessories, and perfumes.
Now, it has expanded its sales channels to Europe, Asia, and North America. It is now known not only as a leather brand but also as a comprehensive fashion brand.
Meier, who had been active since 2001, will retire in 2018. Daniel Lee was chosen as his successor. He had been a ready-to-wear designer at Celine and became a designer at the young age of 32.
All eyes were on Lee to see how he would lead Bottega, which had grown into a global brand in a few decades.
His first collection was in the form of an exhibition. He wanted to convey Bottega’s values through design, and breathed new life into a brand that had mainly focused on leather items.
Bottega’s technical capabilities and values
How is it that Bottega, which has been in business for about 50 years, is able to compete on equal terms with long-established brands?
The technical skills of the artisans, known as “artisans,” have contributed greatly to this.
Bottega laments the loss of handcrafted skills due to mechanization, and has been focusing on activities to pass on the skills.
Since 2006, the company has been running the Scuola della Pelleteria, a school for training artisans. The school teaches not only skills related to leather products, but also the fundamental values of a craftsman.
The brand’s synonym, “Intrecciato,” represents the high level of craftsmanship.
This word means “weaving” and can only be made by the best craftsmen in Bottega. The process involves using a single piece of tanned leather and carefully cutting it into strips.
Also, Bottega’s value system is “When your own initials are enough”.
There is no brand logo on the bag or wallet. The intrecciato is the only way to know it’s Bottega. The high level of technology has been sublimated to an icon.
It is because Bottega is proud of such a high level of technology that it has the power to compete with long-established brands that boast a history of over 100 years.
In just 50 years, Bottega has grown to become a global company. This is a result of the combination of the high skills of its craftsmen, the capital of the Gucci Group, and its progressive designs.
In order to keep these skills alive, the company has established and operates an artisan training school.
The unique Bottega design called intrecciato is proof of its technical capabilities.
We can’t take our eyes off the growth of Bottega by fresh designers. I look forward to seeing what kind of history it will have in the future.