Bottega Green Nowhere To Be Seen as Matthieu Blazy Goes Back To Basics

By Lynn Mongameli

Since Daniel Lee’s abrupt departure from the Italian based fashion powerhouse Bottega Veneta, we have eagerly anticipated where the brand will go next.

In November 2021, the Kering-owned brand announced that Lee’s second in command, Matthieu Blazy, would replace him after his departure—making it clear the vision was not to stray away from the winning formula that brought the luxury brand back from the graveyard. Bottega Veneta now rivals Balenciaga, albeit without being on social media (another one of Lee’s ideas).

An alumnus of the school of Margiela, Raf Simons and Phoebe Philo, Blazy has been fashion’s worst kept secret weapon. One who has often been behind the scenes, but his appointment at Bottega would see him thrown into the deep end as Daniel Lee and his ‘Bottega Green’ reinvigoration of Bottega Veneta would be a tough act to follow.
Opting not to show at Paris Fashion Week, which is like the Champions League of Fashion Weeks, but instead returning to the Milan Fashion Week schedule, straight away it was clear that Blazy was setting out a new vision for the luxury brand.

One of the most anticipated shows on this year’s calendar, Anna Wintour, Raf Simons, and Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi were sitting front row. Blazy’s debut was a great palette cleanser for the house that has become the harbinger of cool. With a simple opening look that featured just a white tank top and what looked to be blue jeans made from leather, it was immediately clear that his intention as the creative director is to bring Bottega back to basics and back home. Home, in this case, is an old 19th-century theatre that will soon be the luxury house’s new headquarters.

Not veering too far away from the house’s signature styles, several of which were crafted under Daniel Lee’s tenure and have been a hit with consumers. This collection had a little of something for everyone, from crewneck sweaters, full skirts, sheer dresses, boots, loafers, and of course, bags. Matthieu kept Bottega’s hallmark intrecciato weave which appeared on pouch bags, boots, skirts and loafers, but did away with some of the brand’s core products like the ever loved jody bag, the pouch bag and the squared-heel that has become a fan-favourite on Instagram. An obvious sign that this isn’t going to be a continuation of what we’ve seen before, the ‘Bottega Green’ hue that fast became synonymous with the brand was nowhere to be seen.

Presenting a refreshed take, Blazy’s Bottega seems to be a more toned down and stripped back version of the work Daniel started, almost bourgeois in a sense. Filled with craftsmanship, his version of Bottega seems to be a bit more grown-up, not pandering to the luxury streetwear epidemic that’s currently gripping fashion but refreshing minimalism based on classic silhouettes from the house’s archives. While his first showing was successful, it was evident that Blazy is not trying to hit the refresh button on Bottega’s brand image, at least not yet. People still want Daniel Lee’s Bottega, and with his fast-tracked exit from the Kering Group-owned brand, there’s pressure on Matthieu not to shake the table too much – it’s almost as though he has to let people down, to build them up again.

As is the case for any designer taking over the reins of a brand, especially one as popular with consumers as Bottega Venetta, we cannot expect Matthieu Blazy to overhaul the brand on his debut. He needs time, and despite being capped, Blazy’s debut wasn’t blasé, yet it didn’t blow you away either. As he continues to set a new formality for Bottega Veneta, the Parisian-born designer is looking to the past to create the future. No longer concerned with ready-to-wear that’s prepped for IG fame, next season will be the pivotal moment of what we can expect from Matthieu Blazy and ultimately what the future of Bottega Veneta will look like.

Watch the full runway show below:

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