In the era of social media, it is hard to imagine that a brand can just disappear from all the social networks. However, this is exactly what Bottega Veneta has done, deleting its fabulous Instagram profile, followed by 2.5 million Cassette bag-carrying devotees. Twitter and Facebook? They're gone, too. With not so much as a goodbye, or a 'we'll be back', we're left wondering why? From the brand’s heritage to its visionary creative director, here's your Bottega cheat sheet:
Launched as a luxury accessories brand in 1966, Bottega Veneta quickly gained a cult following thanks to its Intrecciato leather pattern, a no logo policy and a focus on craftsmanship. One Bottega bag for example, takes two days to make, and while discreet, is immediately recognisable. Despite its ready to wear line only launching in the 80s, it has quickly became synonymous with effortless Italian chic.
Aged 34, Daniel Lee is a Central Saint Martins graduate (he studied under the late Louise Wilson). The British designer worked for Martin Margiela, Donna Karan and Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, before joining Céline in 2012, where he eventually became Phoebe Philo’s right hand, and the director of her ready-to-wear studio. Lee’s appointment at the helm of Bottega Veneta in June 2018 came as a surprise, as at the time his name was known only to industry insiders. His first shows were, of course, highly anticipated.
Under Lee’s creative direction Bottega Veneta, quite literally overnight, became a sensation – the most hyped brand on the fashion scene, coveted by every notable street styler and influencer going. The “Old Céline” alumnus likes to mix elegance with quirk. His designs are ultra modern, bold and fun, and as a result, his clothes are avant-garde yet wearable. Accessories wise, Lee has already created several bestsellers, such as the Pouch, the Cassette, the Jodie bag and the Padded sandals (all of which feature the XXL version of intrecciato weaving), seen everywhere on Instagram and beyond. His chunky Tire and stomper Puddle boots are also a hit (both are notoriously hard to procure and are among the most searched items on the internet). Unsurprisingly, the New Bottega counts Rihanna, Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner among its celebrity fans.
Why would Bottega Veneta delete all of its social media platforms? Is it a statement? Daniel Lee does not have a personal Instagram account and is against online shows: notably, he staged a secret intimate physical presentation at London’s Sadler’s Wells in October, but only revealed its photos to the media, before going public with them two months later. Is there a hidden message? Has Instagram fallen out of fashion? Or is it simply a savvy move to keep New Bottega firmly in the spotlight? After all, it’s around this time that brands begin to unveil their new Spring-Summer advertising campaigns, so maybe all this is to secure a striking comeback of sorts?