Where the countryside is immersed in golden olive groves and…
The year of the unexpected, 2020 certainly stripped our life’s canvases bare. It seems the element of surprise has carried over into the new year, and the fashion industry is no exception. Bottega Veneta’s exit from social media is seemingly enshrouded in irony and counter-productivity, but after jokes about the abrupt event on Twitter stating, ‘The ultimate luxury is not existing’, it began to make a lot more sense. Is going off the radar the new luxury, or a return to the original luxury?
Without any official explanation from the brand itself, speculation is certainly at an all-time high. Brands, publications and influencers alike, heads have turned from all directions of the fashion industry. Despite other Kering partner Gucci’s sales dropping by 23.2% mid 2020, Bottega saw unrivalled growth under creative director, Daniel Lee. Lee’s ‘New Bottega’ has been a strong point of difference. From the cloud-like cushions of the padded cassette, to the elegant square-toe mules, his work has certainly gained traction for its timeless flair.
Interesting to note is the timing of Lee’s decision, coinciding with the recent Instagram algorithm change pushing for further sales opportunities within the app. The undoubtedly tactical decision by creative director Daniel Lee may have seemed abrupt, but not exactly surprising given the context from which his decision emerged. Lee has previously communicated his disdain with social media in general, even being nicknamed ‘The Quiet Radical’ by British Vogue. Though, his relationship with social media certainly has a love-hate dynamic, (he hates it, but it loves him), evidenced by fan accounts like @newbottega clocking up over 377k loyal followers.
A solid foundation had already been lain under previous creative director Tomas Maier, who coined the original brand ethos, “When your own initials are enough”. This idea of ‘quiet luxury’ was what originally steered Bottega to its success, in being able to sell an aspirational existence rather than just a product. A return to its roots now doesn’t seem so absurd, when you consider the ultimate luxury may in fact be the organic growth that comes from word of mouth. It’s a sure way to ensure that the ‘aspirational lifestyle’ is not lost behind the noise of corporate advertising.
The fashion industry’s shift from physical to virtual in 2020 only further saturated people’s social streams with new collections, content and product. It could be that the excess of product being pushed caused Lee to re-think Bottega‘s marketing strategy. With #bottegaveneta and #newbottega having been used 1.9m and 51.3k times on Instagram respectively, it could be safe to say the brand has already generated a brand community strong enough to survive its digital detox.
Bottega could be one step ahead of the rest, following the idea that maybe, the greatest thief of consumer desire is excess.
Edited by Kaija Love