From old Bottega to a brand new era, Vogue Scandinavia’s shoe and handbag expert, Sandra Hagelstam weighs in on what’s to come for the hyped brand's accessory line
I think I counted 16 pairs of New Bottega shoes in the height of my collection frenzy. From the numerous square toe mules – plain, padded and woven, to the now signature chunky boots that shaped shoe trends globally, the shoes in my collection was 99% Bottega Veneta and I could not get enough. When Daniel Lee relaunched Bottega Veneta in 2018 to what the brand is known for today – Parakeet green and mostly intreccio leather, I wasn’t alone with my new found obsession of hunting down the fast selling duck toe sandals and pillowy pouches like they were the last ones available, because at the time they truly were.
The enthusiasm of investing big on the rebirth of a heritage brand specialising in leather goods was a fascination that I had not experienced since Hedi Slimane took over Saint Laurent in 2012. With a less controversial approach, Lee turned Bottega Veneta into the most relevant player in luxury fashion with a roaring exposure that was second to none.
However, a lot has changed in the past two years, from social media departures to eventually a newly appointed creative director. My devotion for growing my Bottega Veneta shoe collection wasn’t brought to a halt due to the pandemic, but more the lack of exclusivity that the expansion eventually came with. Those impossible to find cult boots that were once a waitlist item now come in over 20 different versions and are available as soon as you can choose a colour.
A small selection of Sandra Hagelstam's many Bottega Veneta pieces. Photo: Sandra Hagelstam
After the unexpected shake up, Lee’s second hand man Matthieu Blazy took the helm of the Italian heritage brand and presented this first collection for the upcoming fall. While the new direction wasn’t too much of a leap from Lee's successful aesthetic, Blazy’s approach was more laid back and minimal, with silhouettes that paid a homage to the archives of Bottega Veneta.
A closer look revealed some incredible leather work, with the famous intreccio leather taking centre stage. Woven over-the-knee boots, bucket bags slung over the shoulder and impressive platform Mary Jane pumps paired with casual white tank tops and jeans. The new, stripped back era of Bottega Veneta is the most realistic to date, portraying the idea of wearing well-made basics with incredible everyday accessories, a uniform me and like minded shoppers will have no problem getting behind.
As Bottega Veneta turns a new page, the first accessory by Matthieu Blazy is now out. The ‘Kalimero’ bucket bag was presented in the house signature intreccio, weaved leather and is worn slung over the shoulder. Crafted entirely of woven leather without being sewn, the Kalimero represent the notion of movement and the idea of going somewhere. While the intreccio leather has grown familiar to us, the new model is a relaxed departure from the structured bags we’ve seen over the past few years. Unlikely to be able to top the popularity of the precursor, the ‘Pouch’, the idea of a bag worn in an entirely new way has its appeal that will be a hit embraced especially by stylish fashion show goers.
However, my money is on the shoes to make the biggest impact. The over-the-knee boots that were presented in a number of versions of leather, from a sleek black almond toe to metallic green, as well as house signature intreccio is high up on my autumn/winter wishlist, along with the platform pumps that will continue to dominate shoe trends despite the colder weather ahead.
So bring on the new New Bottega, I hope Blazy’s era fulfils me with my best boots to date, exciting bags that allow me to retire my pouches but most of all: the thrill of the chase.