Bottega Veneta joined the personalization club today with the launch of their Initials line at a five day pop up shop within their Milan showroom during the city's busy design fair, and online through a specialized Initials site. Their trademark intrecciato (woven) pattern has become synonymous with subtle luxury and fine craftsmanship, and their beautifully rich leather goods have earned a cult following for their elegance as well as their durability. As Goyard, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and other luxury leather goods companies have long offered personalization, it's moved from a trend to an integral way to make these products your own. Feeling its products were not properly constructed to support monograms however, Bottega Veneta put a plan in place to create a new collection designed exclusively for the program.
We were invited to stop by the pop up shop to see the product first-hand and to go through the personalization process. The familiar feeling line includes a variety of totes, wallets, handbags, messenger bags, an iPad case and a belt, ranging in price from $350 - $2,150. Though similar in shape and size to existing products, the 15 items in the mens/womens/unisex collection have in fact been reengineered with different Nappa leathers; the women's products use lambskin for a softer and slouchier effect, the men's use calfskin and are thicker, firmer and sturdier. The suede backing is new for the collection, and consideration has gone into the design process to determine where your initials should sit on the product.
Bottega selected a handful of expert artisans to carry out the hand painted monogram process with careful precision that's only developed over a lifetime. While many of the editors on hand chose a combination of the type options—six colors of the leather, three sizes and eight colors of the letters—we stuck to a monotone palette that's subtle but still makes a statement.
The Bottega Initials site is already operating and well worth a mention as well. Inviting you to enter your initials upon entry, the well designed site presents all products sporting your monogram already, offering a glimpse at what could be. You can then modify the size and color of the letters until you get it just right. If you're looking for a bigger statement, personalized luggage is scheduled to arrive later this year.
For a closer look at the pop up shop and its offers see the gallery below.
by Evan Orensten and Graham Hiemstra