Tomas Maier has been at the helm of Bottega Veneta for 15 years, which is quite remarkable in an industry where creative directors come and go at breakneck speed and often last at their jobs for only a handful of seasons. He’s been delivering consistently beautiful and tasteful collections with every show, appealing to a certain type of customer, the true one per centers, who know the finest things in life and don’t need or want to show off.
Maier’s milestone coincided with the brand’s 50th anniversary and for the occasion, the house took over the Accademia di Belle Arti in Brera and united its women’s and men’s ranges for a grand show that included a whopping 79 looks. Maier’s signatures, from belted coatdresses in paper-thin napa leather to patchwork jackets and parachute dresses, came out in full force for this special outing.
“Elegance is not about age,” Maier said in a post-show interview, and the casting definitely proved it, with a line-up of models ranging for Gigi Hadid to none other than Lauren Hutton, who stole the show in a chic trench coat buttoned up all the way to the neck, a killer look if there ever was one.
The designer, who for the first time invited artisans from the Bottega Veneta workshops to the show, took his bow with his entire design team. It was a moving gesture that reflects his commitment to the house that he’s helped revive and turn into one of the key brands of luxury group Kering. As for the secret to that successful relationship with its employer, “it’s like a marriage,” he said. “You have to work hard to make it work.” Building a brand into a luxury powerhouse is no easy task and this show, which celebrated an anniversary but also the skills of the Bottega Veneta ateliers, was testament to Maier’s great achievements at the Italian label synonymous with whispered luxury.