With subtle management of trend, Bottega Veneta rewrites its history after a decade of challenges. Thanks to a strategic creative director’s choice and accurate comprehension of the time, the brand proves that mixing know-how and modernity is always a good idea.
What do you get when you cross a humble, audacious Brit with the venerated artistry of a high-fashion Italian dynasty? Bottega Veneta SS20.
Bottega Veneta was founded in the mid sixties in Italy, precisely in Vicenza, and quickly became the standard for the Italian leather goods industry. With a golden age between 70’s and 80’s, the « Venetian shop », as it is called in Italian, could have disappeared in the early 00’s had it not been for Tomas Maier’s arrival at the company.
Vogue once qualified Maier’s new brand strategy as « stealth wealth » ; since the Italian brand has always spread an image of discrete but high quality. Tomas Maier, who spent 17 years as Creative Director, facilitated the rise of Bottega Veneta’s stellar reputation in producing quality bags and footwear with a very low-profile attitude.
But that was last century… in the era of industrial fashion brands, Bottega Veneta had to find a new way to attract the spotlight.
When Bottega Veneta success rhymes with change
Artisanal leather accessories account for 85% of the brand’s revenue and the competition is now tougher than ever. For several seasons Bottega Veneta searched for a fresh impetus, a new dynamic to conquer new market shares, in particular volatile millennials. So when Daniel Lee, BV’s young, new Creative Director took over in 2018, the debut of the brand’s SS20 collection at Milan Fashion Week had everyone from influencers to designers talking about and sharing photos of the revitalized array of leather accessories on the runway. Bottega Veneta looks were generously shared on social media among other big contenders like Celine, Saint Laurent, and Chanel. Has BV achieved its goal of becoming a distinguished guest to the European fashion weeks?
Want to know all the details about SS20 Fashion Week?
The new Bottega Veneta: A remarkable awakening
Between this year’s SS20 and last year’s FW19 shows, mentions of the brand increased threefold on Instagram, and particular items, such as BV’s Pouch Bag and padded mules, topped the season’s most talked-about pieces at Fashion Week. The Pouch Bag, a wearable, over-the-shoulder piece whose airy visage is complemented by its supple leather, was increasingly present in the press and on social media, surpassing even iconic products. In New York, Paris, London, and Milan, the Pouch Bag and the Padded Bag competed for the spotlight with Chanel and Dior, securing a spot in the top 3 at every Fashion Week. The Padded Bag is a major it this season across brands and Bottega Veneta’s takes the cake, a clear marker of this new era, with its reinterpretation of the iconic intrecciato design.
Bottega Veneta’s new shoes dovetail comfortably alongside this season’s square-toed, flip-flop trend; their Stretch Sandals were the real stars of September Fashion Weeks. The brand’s Stretch Pumps embrace this season’s infatuation with mesh, and the padded mules speak to Lee’s newly-iconic bag of the season. Throughout Bottega Veneta’s ready-to-wear collection, the season’s top colors shone through in beige, rust, and off-white on structured cuts and loose silhouettes.
The powerful trend of a happy marriage between know-how and modernity
Lee has succeeded in reviving the codes of the house while accurately capturing the trend of past seasons; a simple and purified silhouette, enhanced with original details and volumes that distinguish one piece from another. Without betraying the Italian house’s codes of excellence, Lee has managed to offer a new interpretation of the fashion accessory, even if all the while overshadowing the ready-to-wear. An interesting strategy considering many houses rely on accessories and leather goods to ensure a comfortable turnover but prefer the stylistic demonstration of a show or the development of their image via prêt-à-porter.
A testament to the brand’s successful ushering in of a new era this SS20, Bottega Veneta scored the top bag of the season as well as 4 out of 10 of the season’s top shoes in Heuritech’s impact score. In the words of Lee, “Spring 2020 evolves the codes we are building at Bottega Veneta.”
When a famous Parisian metro station was papered over with its resounding campaign to the glory of the new spearheads of the house a few days after Fashion Week, it seemed the press’ enthusiasm would never stop.
Will the euphoria we have seen on social media translate in shops and dressing rooms?
See you in February for confirmation of this resounding awakening… or the unraveling of a subtle communication strategy that has remarkably conquered the market.
Better knowing the desirability of a luxury product helps to forecast sales and stock, particularly for product launches. Heuritech empowers fashion teams to monitor in real time both products and trends through cutting-edge image recognition technology applied to millions of social media images each day.