Founded in 1966 in Vicenza, Bottega Veneta is an Italian luxury fashion house with roots in artisanal leather goods. Its headquarters are located in Milan and it is presently owned by the Kering Group. The brand has grown from a family company to an estimated 1.5 billion euro global company through changes in ownership, creativity and leadership, and currently going through a new phase with newly appointed creative director Matthieu Blazy and CEO Leo Rongone.
Bottega Veneta was founded in 1966 in Vicenza, Italy by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro. The brand’s primary product was leather goods which is a distinctive category of Bottega Veneta today. Crafting artisanal leather goods, the luxury fashion brand developed a distinctive leather weaving design- the Intrecciato- which became its most recognisable staple. Perceiving that its sewing machines lacked strength compared to other manufacturers of leather goods.. bottega Veneta realised that it couldn’t produce robust leather. The Intrecciato- or braided weave- was introduced as a solution by weaving delicate leather to create a woven pattern and make handbags durable. Today this element appears across all categories of Bottega Veneta’s accessories.
Renzo Zengiaro left the company at the end of the Seventies. Soon after Michele Taddei handed over the company to his former wife Laura Braggion who headed the company with her second husband Vittorio Moltedo. She would contribute to the early success of the brand in the United States by becoming an assistant of Andy Warhol and also opened the first store in New York in 1972.
In the late Nineties Bottega Veneta launched its first ready-to-wear collection designed by Edward Buchanan and Creative Director Laura Moltedo. However the turnover of the creative team was high and the label struggled to retain its talent. Rescued from near-bankruptcy by Domenico di Sole and Tom Ford of the Gucci Group in 2001.. the company was acquired by what would later become Kering. Per WWD: “Initially Gucci Group bought a 66.67 percent stake in Bottega Veneta via a capital investment of $96.2 million and the purchase of shares from its stockholders for $60.6 million for a total of $156.8 million. The remaining 33.33 per cent was in the hands of its shareholders — the Moltedo family.”
Tomas Maier– who had spent nine years at Hermès and previously worked at Guy Laroche and Sonia Rykiel- redefined Bottega Veneta in an era of excessive luxury branding. Per Vogue: “Maier was tasked with turning around what was then a label on the verge of bankruptcy. He rooted his vision in the label’s reputation for time-tested craftsmanship… paired with his own fascination with functionality. He quickly found success, surpassing $1 billion in sales by 2012—which at the time made Bottega Veneta Kering’s fastest-growing label.”
CEO Patrizio di Marco- who had been recruited from Céline in the late Nineties- repositioned Bottega Veneta as a luxury brand, growing revenues more than tenfold in six years. This led to di Marco being promoted to head of the Gucci Group. His successor at Bottega Veneta- Marco Bizzarri- led the growth trajectory in Asia. The brand however was deeply impacted by the luxury downturn of the decade.
In 2018 Tomas Maier left Bottega Veneta and British designer Daniel Lee was brought in to revive the brand, having worked for Céline, Margiela and Balenciaga. He built momentum for the brand with disruptive strategies like erasing its Instagram account and staging traveling fashion shows in London, Berlin and Detroit. Per BoF: “Lee was drafted in by its parent company Kering which sought to return the brand to its former strength. The designer is tipped as an opportunity for Kering to tap into the Phoebe Philo-era of Old Céline following Hedi Slimane’s reorientation of the Parisian.” Lee’s first runway show debuted in Milan in February 2019. At the 2019 British Fashion Awards Bottega Veneta won Brand of the Year” while Lee won “Designer of the Year,” “British Designer of the Year — Womenswear” and “Accessories Designer of the Year.”
In November 2021, Lee stepped down from his position as creative director at Bottega Veneta. After his departure Matthieu Blazy was promoted internally. He held his first show as Creative Director on 26 February 2022 at Milan Fashion Week. ”Matthieu Blazy is an extraordinarily talented individual whom I am proud and excited to entrust with the creative helm of our luxury House” Leo Rongone, CEO of Bottega Veneta, told Harpers Bazaar. “Bottega Veneta has always been equated with signature craftsmanship and distinctive creativity. Matthieu’s appointment will further enhance the modern relevance of our brand and accelerate our growth, while preserving the values that are at the core of Bottega Veneta.”
Bartolomeo Rongone- who was appointed CEO of the brand in 2019- helped the luxury brand log a 24.2 per cent increase in revenues in 2021.. reportedly surpassing the $1.6 billion mark. This comes with years of experience in the luxury sector including Head of Business Intelligence and other roles at Fendi. He joined Kering in 2012 as Chief Operating Officer of Yves Saint Laurent, responsible for product and global retail operations. At Bottega Veneta Bartolomeo is tasked with realising the full potential of the new creative force that has been driving the House since 2018.
Bottega Veneta’s vision is to become the go-to luxury brand for customers seeking timeless, elegant and artisanal Italian fashion. The brand’s overarching goal is to capture the essence of timeless sophistication and offer a unique blend of style and craftsmanship that transcends trends. Rooted in the rich heritage of Italian craftsmanship, Bodega Veneta envisions itself as the epitome of quality for those who appreciate not just the aesthetics but the enduring craftsmanship that underpins each creation. This vision aspires to celebrate a legacy of sartorial finesse and innovation.
Bottega Veneta’s roots lie in Italian craftsmanship. Their mission is to uphold this heritage while remaining relevant to the ever-changing consumer market.
Bottega Veneta offers ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, accessories, jewellery and fragrance.
2019 Fashion Awards (UK): Designer of the Year, Womenswear Designer of the Year, and Accessories Designer of the Year (Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta).
Matthieu Blazy (Creative Director)
Bartolomeo Rongone (CEO)
François-Henri Pinault (Chairman and CEO- Kering)