Bottega Veneta was established in 1966 by Vittorio and Laura Moltedo in Vincenza, a town in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. The name “Bottega Veneta” means Venetian shop.
The company began by manufacturing artisanal leather accessories. Great things are borne out of necessity and such was the case when the artisans at Bottega Veneta conceived the “intrecciato” or woven style of making leather goods.
At the time of the company’s inception in the 1960s, Vincenza was known for manufacturing ready-to-wear. The factories in the region were outfitted with machines suited for sewing and finishing fabric. The artists at Bottega Veneta developed intrecciato to accommodate needles in the existing sewing machines. The technique involved braiding very thin leather strips. Intrecciato is the Italian word for braided. The interlocking leather strips re-enforced the durability and enhanced the beauty of the finished piece.
Intrecciato became the signature of the brand thus embedded in its DNA. Today, it graces Bottega Veneta’s products and packaging. Collections have expanded to include men and women’s ready to wear, shoes, jewelry, home goods and fragrance.
While other brands use logos to distinguish their products, Bottega Veneta’s understated intrecciato motif has become synonymous with distinctive styling, quality materials and superior craftsmanship. The philosophy of the brand is evident in their slogan, “When your own initials are enough”.
In 2001 the Moltedo family sold the company to Gucci (now part of the Kering Group). Thomas Maier was appointed Creative Director. Maier can be credited with the revival and expansion of the brand whilst honoring and preserving it’s cultural and artistic roots.
In September of 2013 Bottega Veneta inaugurated a new state of the art teaching and manufacturing facility – The Villa, Montebello Vicentino. The facility obtained LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification in the New Construction & Major Renovation category. This prestigious certification demonstrates the brand’s commitment to employee well being, environmental consciousness and sustainability.
The school housed at the atelier, La Scuola dei Maestri Pellettieri di Bottega Veneta serves as a workshop, where new hires are taught the principles and techniques from master teachers and technicians who have been a part of the Bottega Veneta story since the very beginning.
Thomas Maier recognized that the artisans were Bottega Veneta’s most valuable resource. He set about to ensure that their knowledge would be valued and preserved for generations to come, thus ensuring the continuation of what the founders began in Vincenza over 50 years ago.
“It would be a profound loss if the knowledge and cultural wealth embodied in artisanal crafts were to vanish. Such know-how carries precious threads of individual creativity and human history – in this alone, it is irreplaceable. Not only must we save particular knowledge, we must work to ensure that craft continues to thrive in the places where they have roots. Place is essential to craft. Just as local cultural traditions profoundly inform workmanship, so too does the presence of historically rooted craft shape the evolution of local culture.” – Tomas Maier