Tomas Maier’s creative directorship of Bottega Veneta has been the driving force behind Bottega Veneta’s rapid rise from second tier house to the very pinnacle of luxury, and its current status as one of the world’s most desired brands, taking in over $1 billion in sales annually.
The German designer was first appointed by Tom Ford in June 2001, when the company was acquired by PPR, now Kering, and integrated into its Luxury Division, formerly known as Gucci Group.
Maier presented his first collection, which consisted solely of accessories, in September 2001, just a few months following his appointment. Before embarking on a broader mission, he constituted the core values of Bottega Veneta, which he calls “the four cornerstones”: fine-quality materials, extraordinary craftsmanship, contemporary functionality, and timeless design. Maier also affirmed that Bottega Veneta would return to its logo-less, ‘stealth luxury’ heritage, conveyed in the famous slogan, “When your own initials are enough.”
In the first two years, Bottega Veneta opened flagship stores in London, Paris, Milan, and New York, and added a small selection of women’s and men’s ready-to-wear pieces to the seasonal presentations. The first women’s ready-to-wear show took place in February 2005 and the first men’s runway show was held in June 2006.
Among the product categories that Bottega Veneta now offers, in addition to full women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collections, are accessories, fine jewelry, furniture, tabletop, desktop, luggage, porcelain, eyewear, fragrance and watches.
To help preserve the traditions that define the brand, the company founded an artisan school La Scuola della Pelleteria, in Vicenza in 2006, to continue its intrecciato leather weaving technique, a fundamental of Maier’s designs and the house’s signature.