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Bottega Veneta: The Art of Collaboration

By Guan Tan

Bottega Veneta

What is Bottega Veneta? To many, it is a 52-year-old Italian brand renowned for its leather goods, particularly the remarkably symmetrical and intricate woven leather called intrecciato. To others,  the brand is defined by its creative director, Tomas Maier, the 61-year-old German-born fashion designer who propelled the brand to its place in the industry today. 

Under the stewardship of Maier, the brand's definition has shifted drastically — it is perhaps, no longer about what the brand dictates but about how the brand is interpreted and comprehended. 

"I like that there is something to discover or not to discover. The curiosity adds excitement," Maier himself explained in the foreword of a book titled, "Bottega Veneta: Art of Collaboration". 

The Art of Collaboration was a project started by Maier in 2001, the year when he joined the storied brand. At its beginning, Maier reached out to fresh eyes outside the fashion industry — fine-art photographers to decipher the brand in their own voice. From 2002 to date, acclaimed photographers such as Nan Goldin, Peter Lindberg, Pieter Hugo, Juergen Teller, and Vivian Sassen have had their take on the brand. Each told a separate narrative – a different woman in a different environment, leading different lives. 

Later, Maier ventured into films. "The evolution of the Art of Collaboration enables us to reach and have a dialogue with the customer on his or her own terms."



There are two films in the Spring/ Summer 2018 repertoire — Utopia and Rebirth. In Utopia, colour proves to be a dominant theme. The streets of an unknown city are painted with pink fog, suggesting a romance-charged atmosphere. A woman in red exchange coincidental glances with a man in shades. It is perhaps, film director Fabien Baron's way of interpreting mystery, sensuality and surrealism. 

Later, in Rebirth, a woman caresses the petals of a flower as she stares out of the window. Time passes. There is a man staring down the clock. In a dream-like reconciliation, they are teleported into the same room.



From Spring/ Summer 2018 onwards, the series of short films will explore facets of the Bottega Veneta identity — mystery, sophistication, architecture, sensuality, and surrealism.