Bottega Veneta Celebrates its Iconic Knot

Salma Akkaoui, Rita de Bustros, Elham Salame, Magda Abillamah_1600x1065

Bottega Veneta continues the celebration of one of its most renowned bags, through a traveling exhibition, “The Knot: A Retrospective.” The exhibition, originally announced in April of 2008 in Milan, on the occasion of the handbag’s 30th anniversary, continues to travel to select Bottega Veneta stores around the world. At each location, a cocktail reception for invited customers and press allows them to view the exhibition, which showcases over 50 versions of the iconic bag.

The Knot is one of Bottega Veneta’s most recognizable and beloved handbags. When Tomas Maier took the reins as Creative Director in 2001, he recognized the special quality of the company’s small, rounded box clutch. Maier created a new closure in the shape of a small leather knot and gave the bag its name. Since then, versions of the Knot have been featured in every Bottega Veneta collection. Its perfect shape and clear function have proved an irresistible canvas for Maier and the Bottega Veneta artisans.

Rita de Bustros, Elham Salame, Maha Al Shair_1600x1065Modern interpretations have ranged from the refined to the fanciful, including the Origami Knot, of intricately creased patent leather; the Jardin Knot, crafted from a profusion of leather blossoms; a Vintage Jewel Knot, embroidered with antique crystals; the Memory Knot, of Nappa leather constructed with a metallic aluminum film that uniquely holds the shape to the touch; the Enameled knot, contrasting the softness of the Nappa lining and the toughness of the metal shell; the Metal lace Knot, made of two metal lace gussets encompassing a luxurious satin panel; and others of woven sterling silver, padded satin, and soft crocodile. While the Knot is frequently copied, no imitation comes close to the quality, craftsmanship, and beauty of the genuine article. Many styles of the Knot are extremely limited in availability, with editions ranging from 100 to as little as 25, depending upon production and the availability of the rare materials used to make them.

For Creative Director Tomas Maier, one of the biggest challenges with initially organizing the retrospective was finding examples from the 1980s and ‘90s. “The company never kept an archive,” explains Maier, “so to reconstruct the history of the Knot we had to search in vintage stores and private collections. It’s been like a treasure hunt.” The bag has both historical and creative significance for Maier. “The Knot is very much a symbol of Bottega Veneta, a link to the company’s history and to its future. For me personally, it’s a pleasure to design, an opportunity for a special kind of creative exploration.”

Discretion, quality, and craftsmanship — Bottega Veneta has created a new standard of luxury since its founding in Vicenza in 1966. Steeped in the traditions of Italy’s master leather craftsmen and long celebrated for its extraordinary leather goods, Bottega Veneta has recently emerged as one of the world’s premier luxury brands. The company’s famous motto, “When your own initials are enough,” expresses a philosophy of individuality and confidence that now applies to a range of products including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, furniture, and more.

While Bottega Veneta continues to grow, the qualities that define it are unchanging: outstanding craftsmanship, innovative design, contemporary functionality, and the highest quality materials. Also constant is Bottega Veneta’s commitment to its ateliers, where artisans of remarkable skill combine traditional mastery with breathtaking innovation. Indeed, there is an unusual and inspired collaboration between artisan and designer at the heart of Bottega Veneta’s approach to luxury, symbolized by the house’s signature intrecciato woven leather. In the summer of 2006, in recognition of the importance of artisanal craftsmanship and the fragility of this traditional way of life, Bottega Veneta opened a school to train and support future generations of leather artisans.

The most recent chapter in Bottega Veneta’s history began in February 2001, when the company was acquired by PPR Luxury Group, formerly known as Gucci Group. Creative Director Tomas Maier came on board in June of that year and presented his first collection, Spring-Summer 2002, to immediate critical acclaim. From the start, the house’s sensibility was refined, sensuous, and intensely personal, designed for a customer who is sophisticated and self-assured.

In the years since, Bottega Veneta has introduced exciting additions to the collection, including fragrance, fine jewelry, a watch, furniture, and home accessories, while continuing to offer an exclusive and coveted assortment of ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, small leather goods, eyewear, luggage, and gifts.

Distribution of Bottega Veneta products is global, encompassing Europe, Australia, Asia, North and South America, where wholesale distribution in select specialty and department stores is complemented by a growing number of Bottega Venetaowned boutiques. These boutiques, designed by Tomas Maier and meticulously constructed to Bottega Veneta’s exacting standards, allow the customer to shop in complete luxury, privacy, and comfort. They are, like the products they showcase, a reflection of Bottega Veneta’s exceptional heritage and superlative quality.