I have long admired Bottega Veneta.
Again, it was my stylish friend Shanaz who got me to revisit the brand a few years ago as I always dismissed it as a bit dowdy. She had the classic Roma bag and it always added gravitas to any outfit, and best of all, very few people had it.
Now, with old Celine designer Daniel Lee at the helm, suddenly Instagram is awash with Bottega Veneta and yes it does now have that simpler clean feeling of Celine. However, is this what we want of a brand like Bottega?
I think that the accessories relaunch feels a bit too contrived and there are far more well priced options delivering the same minimalist look out there. Also, who wants to spend nearly £2k on a bag, which everyone on social media, be it borrowed, gifted of bought is proudly displaying? I just feel it has become another badge of ‘look how much I have spent’. I know that in the past I would have been right in there, but now I feel that it just doesn’t sit right.
I fully understand that the brand wants to cash in on the millennials but it feels too obvious and what set the brand apart for me historically is that it was timeless and yes, conservative, however in an era of joggers, sometimes a more stalwart accessory just works better to add gravitas to an outfit.
The oversized squishy clutch has been around for a long time and has been pioneered way before Daniel Lee got in on the act by Weekend Max Mara. Their Pasticcino clutch is one of my favourite pieces and even new, is a fraction of the price of the Bottega. Best of all you don’t have to spend weeks tracking it down. It comes in an array of sizes and finishes and is just a beautiful bag to carry and own.
You can also look to the Mansur Gavriel oversized clutch bag for that similar feel. No one else will have it and it is lined and finished to perfection. You can pick them up from The Real Real or Ebay if you don’t want to fork out for the new one.
I love my Mansur Gavriel clutch, I really don’t feel like it is a poor version of the Bottega. I actually prefer it and the finish is so beautiful. I found this one on Ebay for £125. Check out the gold finish and the sumptuous lining.
Instagram is wonderful in so many ways but when it gets its teeth into something it just drains the life and interest out of it for me. It becomes no better than that ‘in’ Marks and Spencer dress. Don’t even get me started on the madly overpriced square toe sandal which Bottega have brought out, this is truly a fast fashion item, and it’s a bit depressing that a superior brand like Bottega feels that it has to copy hot ‘in fashion’ labels like By Far. Zara did a fantastic version, so why spend nearly £600.
Let’s be honest, that square front is just plain ugly. This is truly a case of the ’emperors new clothes’, yes, we will like like it regardless of how unflattering it is on.
Certainly if you have the spare cash, or are lucky enough to be given one, I will be the last one to criticise, but in my opinion it is not something to save up for. There are far superior options out there which are less over subscribed. Don’t forget that next season the fashion posse will have moved on and the bags will hit the reloved market, like the Saddlebag, which was last years darling. If I was in the market for an investment clutch I would go for the Chanel Kisslock, which again, you can find for a lot less than then the Bottega bag. Or just search for oversized clutch bags on Ebay.