Image courtesy of Bottega Veneta.
Recently seen swinging in the arms of the most elegant names in Hollywood and in the hands of the fashion icons of the day, it is the Padded Cassette Bag by Bottega Veneta. Not a logo or pattern in sight, the stunning leatherwork piece speaks for itself in a way that few pieces could.
You would think that a good logo would be essential for a successful fashion brand. It is an instantly recognizable image, which arouses the interest of fashionable passers-by and marks the house in our memory. There is also the fact that, if you take a quick look at any fashion resale app, it is often the items plastered with the logo, which were all the hype in the 90s and 00s, that are among the bestsellers on the platforms. of second hand shopping. After all, if you’re going to pay for a well-stitched, handcrafted design accessory, you surely want everyone to know about the craftsmanship invested in it without having to grab a seams magnifier or read the inside label.
But the luxury Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta has long supported an existence without a logo. With the brand formed in the 1960s on a foundation of consecrated savoir-faire and a vision of subtle elegance, this was then intensified in the 1970s with the slogan “when your initials are enough”. The idea was that a culture and lifestyle could be formed not by a simple pattern affixed to each item, but rather by invoking heritage, legacy and craftsmanship to create something that any fashion savvy viewer would recognize at first glance as a Bottega. It’s a slogan that has since been taken up by current creative director Mathieu Blazy since he took over the helm of the house a few months ago.
The past of Bottega Veneta is also present in the padded box bag. The clean, boxy bag is created using the house’s signature weaving technique, intertwined, developed in the late 1960s. Since the Bottega sewing machines of the time were made to work with fabric rather than heavier materials, a thinner leather was chosen, and then woven to make the bags more resistant. This technique has survived across Bottega’s entire leather goods offering, with recent additions including basket bags with long whip-shaped handles, oversized clutches, and even thigh-skimming leather boots.
The padded box is where the technique stands out the most, perhaps because the texture is puffed up to extravagant proportions and each strip of leather quilted to give it a cushion effect that gives the piece a pop art look, almost as if it had been painted. in existence. Even when draped over the shoulder of a glamorous superstar, your eyes can’t help but be drawn to its otherworldly design.
This reference to pop art is appropriate given the brand’s original close ties to Bottega’s art movement and creative collective rather than the origin of the family legacy. And while pop art can stir up memories of riffs on the unrepentant commercialism of branded soup cans, 1950s Hollywood starlets and comic book heroes, it also brings to mind bright, bold and captivating moments. Kind of like the snap of vivid green parakeet that has become a Bottega signifier.
Polaroid, from the Bottega archive, show the brand’s small Viennese shop in autumn 1995, its iconic green paint standing out on the chalky stone of the two old buildings flanking its sides, and framing the leather pieces of its window with the name of the house printed on gold on the glass. Today, if you were to visit that store, Bottega’s latest app would transform the store’s verdant walls into a jaw-dropping vision of photographs, films and runway scenes, talking about the cultural impact of the brand without the evidence of a logo and savoring the subtlety the house was built.
Even before that Vienna shop was reportedly painted, the house put its leather goods in dust bags of the same shade of green. Now, the padded cassette bag is available in that color and you can use it as a green screen to learn more about its timeless fashions. This mix of respect for heritage and the past and at the same time of using its artisan heritage to shape the future allows Bottega to exist without the need for a logo. You can recognize the refined Bottega codes from a mile away and this allows the house to exist outside of a pattern wielded on a t-shirt and instead of living in the real world. It is the Shop-ification of the universe.
All images courtesy of Bottega Veneta.