There are luxury brands and then there's Bottega Veneta. In even his thus-brief tenure, creative director Matthieu Blazy has handily distinguished Bottega from any of its would-be peers, further fleshing out a realm where humble sophistication è tutto and social media sono niente.
#NewNewBottega, as it's sometimes called, is epitomized by clean lines, easy dressing, and resplendent fabrication. Blazy's vision is all-inclusive: there's ample room for nipped tailoring, easy athleisure, and faded workwear, so long as it's all sleek and sumptuous.
Citizens of Bottega World carry elegant leather satchels to the bookstore and their eveningwear is somehow simultaneously glamourous and egoless. The vibe is effortless, the magic word is "intrecciato," and the only passport you need for entrance is the Bottega app.
Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 2022, Blazy's debut collection, is a strong introduction to the refurbished Bottega World and it's filled with as many sly treasures as it is obvious grails.
Meet the Pillow sneaker, Bottega Veneta's subtle secret weapon.
The Puddle boot was one of the early smash-hits of #NewBottega, which came before #NewNewBottega. It's still available in all its laceless rubber glory, but it's been around long enough to also be imagined in everything from fur to glitter.
Bottega has rolled out plenty of shoes since, including a plethora of sandals, mules, loafers, and leather lace-ups that cleverly mimic the Intrecciato weave through embossed leather.
But, unless you were a canny observer, you might've missed that Bottega never really introduced a proper "sneaker."
And I'm not counting styles like its Trail shoe: delightfully wacky they may be, but they're not quite what I mean.
Currently available in a brief assortment of tonal colorways via Bottega Veneta's website for $920 apiece, the Pillow sneaker is, by every definition, a sneaker.
But it ought to be clarified that there's an ocean of opulence between the Pillow and a conventional sneaker. You can't get these rich leather uppers or clever platform sole just anywhere.
The Pillow is a worthy example of the kind of thing that Blazy does so well with Bottega. It's inherently approachable, even for someone unfamiliar with luxury goods, but so obviously elevated beyond the ordinary thanks to suave design and peerless construction.
That slight hint of green that peeks out from underneath the sole? Quiet genius. Obvious branding has no place in Bottega World.
Photos reveal the Pillow shoe's lush make but obscure its shockingly light weight. Seriously, you see that beefy sole and think, "Okay, these are gonna be bricks." Exactly the opposite and, again, a throughline to Blazy's ongoing work at Bottega Veneta.
Lightfooted grace manifested through clever textile manipulation; that's Blazy's Bottega for you. And you can be sure that whatever sneaker Bottega cooks up next will be no less elegant, though it probably won't be quite as massive.