BOT­TEGA VENETA TURNS 50

AS THE REVERED ITAL­IAN LA­BEL MARKS ITS HALF CEN­TURY, CRE­ATIVE DI­REC­TOR TO­MAS MAIER TALKS AN­NIVER­SARIES, IN­SPI­RA­TION AND WHAT KEEPS THE BRAND FRESH.

GQ (Australia) - - THE SOURCE -

Fashion shows have long been celebrity af­fairs and Bot­tega Veneta’s SS17 pre­sen­ta­tion was no ex­cep­tion. Su­per­mod­els Eva Herzigová and Adri­ana Lima, a cou­ple of Ha­dids, and even screen leg­end Lau­ren Hut­ton were all there – and that was just on the cat­walk. “I re­ally wanted to or­gan­ise this special show to cel­e­brate these two mile­stones that are par­tic­u­larly mean­ing­ful to me,” says the brand’s cre­ative di­rec­tor, To­mas Maier, of the Septem­ber show. “But also take the op­por­tu­nity to widely gather con­trib­u­tors and sup­port­ers of Bot­tega Veneta.” The event marked 50 years of the Ital­ian la­bel – 15 of them with Maier at the helm. And while that might seem a long time in fashion years, Ger­man-born Maier is hardly strug­gling for in­spi­ra­tion. His col­lec­tion fea­tured 76 looks and in­cluded, for the first time, a mix­ture of men’s and women’s cloth­ing. “Show­ing women and men to­gether is an or­ganic move that fol­lows the evo­lu­tion of my cre­ative vi­sion,” ex­plains Maier, adding that he doesn’t have a spe­cific per­son in mind when he de­signs. “I couldn’t pin­point a Bot­tega Veneta woman or man; it’s more an at­ti­tude, a phi­los­o­phy, an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for ex­cel­lence that is un­der­stated.” Be­sides the star power and the col­lec­tion it­self, the show was no­table in that Maier took his clos­ing bow with the whole team from the ate­lier – high­light­ing the im­por­tance he places on crafts­man­ship. “The first time I met the ar­ti­sans shortly af­ter I joined the com­pany, I was very moved by their in­cred­i­ble pas­sion for their work,” he says. “All Bot­tega Veneta prod­ucts are the re­sult of a unique col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween cre­ativ­ity and crafts­man­ship.” Fol­low­ing stints at So­nia Rykiel and Her­mès, Maier was cho­sen to re­vive the brand in mid 2001 by Tom Ford, then cre­ative di­rec­tor of the Gucci Group (then the la­bel’s par­ent com­pany). Maier im­me­di­ately set about re­turn­ing the brand to its roots. “When I joined the com­pany, we didn’t have archives at all and there­fore I im­me­di­ately started to re­con­struct them,” he re­calls. “To­day, we have archives of al­most ev­ery­thing that was ever cre­ated since 1966, in­clud­ing sketches, bags and pro­to­types. It’s by pro­tect­ing and hon­our­ing our past that we keep grow­ing.” bot­te­gaveneta.com/au

“WHEN I JOINED THE COM­PANY, WE DIDN’T HAVE ARCHIVES AT ALL AND THERE­FORE I IM­ME­DI­ATELY STARTED TO RE­CON­STRUCT THEM... IT’S BY HON­OUR­ING OUR PAST THAT WE KEEP GROW­ING.”

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