Bottega Veneta was founded by leather craftsmen in Vicenza, Italy, in a workshop outfitted with sewing machines designed to work with fabric, not leather. To fit the material under the needle, the artisans had to use extra fine leather, and to give it strength, they wove it into the companies trademark “intrecciato” pattern.
The company was known for eschewing the logo and label trend favored by Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. One of Bottega Veneta’s mottos loosely translates to “When your own initials are enough.” Instead, the distinct woven pattern in muted high-quality leather spoke for itself.
The brand, also known for its animal prints, was a favorite of the Studio 54 disco scene in the 1970s. Andy Warhol is said to have bought his Christmas gifts at the store in New York City and Lauren Hutton’s housewife character is seen clutching a Bottega purse in the 1980 film “American Gigolo.”
By the 1990s, Bottega Veneta gave in, putting logos on its purses, belt buckles, and shoes, and using its intrecciato pattern all over its clothing line. But in 2001, the company was acquired by the Gucci Group, and new label creative director Tomas Maier restored subtlety and dignity to the luxury brand. Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, and Sarah Jessica Parker are all known to carry these handbags.