An Italian luxury goods and high fashion brand. Founded in 1966 in Vicenza, Veneto, its atelier is located within an 18th-century villa in Montebello Vicentino and its headquarters are in Lugano, Switzerland with offices in Milan and Vicenza, Italy. In 2001, Bottega Veneta was purchased by Gucci Group, and is now a part of the French conglomerate Kering. In September 2016, it was announced that Claus-Dietrich Lahrs would be named CEO, replacing Carlo Beretta.
Bottega Veneta was established in 1966 in Vicenza, Italy by entrepreneurs Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro. Michele Taddei was then married to Laura Braggion who developed the company alongside him. Years later, after Michele Taddei would leave and Vittorio and Laura Moltedo (Laura had previously been married to Taddei) took over the brand.
The company, born from the name “Venetian Shop” in Italian, was founded the producing of artisanal leather goods. The company developed a distinctive leather weave design, called intrecciato, that was used on the exterior of many of its products, and became widely associated with the Bottega Veneta brand. Intrecciato was the starting point for Bottega Veneta’s evolution, and continues to be one of the most recognizable elements of the brand.
In the 1970s, the company began advertising with the tag line “When your own initials are enough”. By the early 1980s, Bottega Veneta was a favorite of the international jet set, with clients including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the empress Farah Pahlavi. Andy Warhol made a short film for the company in 1980. Zengiaro and Taddei retired from the company in the 1990s.
During the 1980s, Bottega Veneta’s fortunes began to decline. In a miscue, the company changed its image and began emblazoning a BV logo on its products. In February 2001, the struggling company was acquired by Gucci Group for $156 million. Tom Ford, then Gucci Group’s Creative Director, hired Tomas Maier, who had previously worked at Sonia Rykiel and Hermès, as Bottega Veneta’s Creative Director in June of that year.
After receiving total creative control from product and store design to advertising, Tomas Maier set about returning the brand to its original identity. He removed visible logos from the brand’s products, highlighted the signature intrecciato weave, and returned the company’s focus to artisanal production. Vogue described the change of image as an emerging example of “stealth wealth.” Bottega Veneta presented its first women’s ready-to-wear runway show in February 2005 and its first men’s runway show in June 2006. In April 2006, the company launched its first jewelry line and branched out into interiors and furniture design.
In September 2016, the Bottega Veneta celebrated its 50-year anniversary as a company at its annual fashion show at the Brera Academy in Milan. The event also celebrated Tomas Maier’s 15th year as creative director.
During first quarter 2019, the Bottega Veneta’s marketing team found moderate viral success in their Facebook Ad Campaign. Commentors have regaled the company for their dystopian, nearly zombielike models, clothed in their “Walmart” inspired fashions, and their luxury price tags.