Will Bottega be cool again?
Thomas Meier’s 17 year long tenure at Bottega Veneta is now over. The Kering group owned luxury house that are known for their trademark weave design are now on the verge of a new era. Bottega Veneta has over last couple of years not been able to meet the sales numbers that was expected, and profits has thus taken a hit. One can only speculate whether, this is the reason for Maier’s departure. But with a luxury fashion market that are developing at high pace, and that has taken a much stronger position in the minds of the younger consumers, it might be time for a change.
Replacing Thomas Maier, will be Daniel Lee, a rather unheard of designer, who formerly was head of ready-to-wear at Céline. Lee as successor to the ‘Venetian shop’ (translation of Bottega Veneta), might be a good choice for several reasons. Firstly, working at Céline he should easily understand the understated heritage of Bottega Veneta. Second, as Hedi Slimane, who is notoriously known for his skinny silhouettes, has taken over the creative direction of Céline, there might be a potential gap in the market. Lee as a replacement for Maier may therefore, be able to close this gap.
Read also: Hedi Slimane for Céline here
On a personal note, I have a hard time seeing the relevance of Bottega Veneta on the current fashion scene. It seems as they have stagnated and relied to much on recipe ‘that works’, which do not account for the dynamics of the industry. I’m looking forward to see the changes that Lee will bring to the company, and whether, Bottega will be cool again.
Its however, worth noting that Bottega Veneta categorises more as a luxury brand, than as a fashion brand. The reason is that it does not respond to all of the fluctuating trends, but rather adopts few key fashion movements and apply their understated aesthetics. The simplicity of the weave design clearly highlights the understated DNA of Bottega Veneta. Moreover, Bottega’s relevance after the financial crisis of 2007, may be found in the radical changes that this crisis had to the fashion industry. Logomania died out instantly, paving the way for understated design. However, as the economy is yet again booming, consumers are seeking out the logomania trend and graphic designs once again, making the understated aesthetics somewhat irrelevant.
If you’re already into Thomas Maier’s aesthetics, I can tell you that his namesake brand embraces a lot of the same virtues as Bottega does. Check it out here.
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