Style & Grooming

Bottega Veneta’s New York Moment

The brand opens their flagship on Madison Avenue and debuts a collection inspired by ‘the way of life in the city’

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Bottega Veneta is having a moment. A New York moment.

Last week, on a rainy Thursday morning, the Italian brand opened the doors to their flagship on Madison Avenue. Three 19th-century townhouses knocked into one 15,000-square-foot super space, it’s the label’s biggest Maison in the world. It’s also something of a homecoming: Bottega Veneta opened their first store outside of Italy on Madison Avenue in 1972; with regal customers like Andy Warhol and Jackie Onassis, it was the beginning of an enduring love affair with the city.

Conceived by the brand’s creative director Tomas Maier, the interior of the new building is – like his men’s and women’s collections – a masterclass in understated sophistication. The son of an architect, Maier’s eye for detail is everywhere: from brushed brass ceilings and giant metal display cubes to a handrail that subtly transforms from stone into wood. The jewel in the crown is a 5th floor apartment complete with handpicked artwork on rotation from the Robilant + Voena gallery (every three months the pieces will change); a library packed with Maier’s favourite books (at a glance: The Architecture of John Lautner, Flowers in Chinese Paintings and Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures); and in the corner, behind an immaculate desk, a suede Bottega Veneta dog basket.

Staged inside the grand American Stock Exchange Building, the following evening’s A/W18 men’s and women’s show proved – against all odds – to also be a homely affair. Models paraded around a carpeted lounge set featuring a roaring fire, a table laid for dinner and elegant Gio Ponti furniture. The clothes (captured here by Ryan Page), on the other hand, were an expertly balanced shock of tiger prints, acid-washes and bright tartans. “I was thinking about the way of life in the city, which goes from one extreme to another,” explained Maier. “It’s hyper-motion and then it falls into almost total seclusion.”

Bottega Veneta’s flagship can be found at 740 Madison Avenue, New York.