When you think Bottega Veneta bag, you probably think of supple leather and expert craftsmanship. But what you may not realize is that the Italian heritage brand was once a struggling, off-the-radar label nearly on the verge of bankruptcy. The brand was saved in 2001 when Kering (now parent company of Gucci) bought the firm and appointed Tomas Maier as creative director. It was under his tenure that the brand became a go-to for discreet luxury and leather goods that are timeless and chic without being gaudy. He introduced new bags like the Knot clutch — inspired by a ’70s box bag in the label’s archives that’s so coveted that it was even featured in a dedicated retrospective in St Tropez in 2004. Lauren Hutton also memorably sported a brown Bottega Veneta clutch in the movie American Gigolo in 1980, which is a moment that the brand recently paid homage to by reviving that iconic bag.
After Maier’s departure in 2021, Daniel Lee took over as creative director and has been credited with transforming the brand into one that churns out It bag after It bag—all without ever resorting to logomania. It was under his stewardship that the Cassette and Jodie bags reached their height of popularity, and now it’s the Pouch bag that has become a household name, making its way onto fashion search engine Lyst’s most-searched list for 2019.
The Pouch isn’t exactly a groundbreaking design: It’s essentially a reworking of the house’s classic Intrecciato technique, which involves weaving together thin strips of leather to create a textured look that appears simple but requires hours of labor from master craftsmen to achieve. But the streamlined silhouette makes it a style that’s both modern and timeless, so much so that it’s spawned an entire family of bags, including a shoulder pouch with a curved top handle, a chain bag with glitzy linked strap, a mini pouch that closes with a drawstring, and a chain-link bracelet-inspired shoulder bag. bottega veneta bag