The Knot Theory

Harper's Bazaar Malaysia|October 2017

The Knot Theory

Ahead of the launch of Bottega Veneta’s Customization Atelier in Kuala Lumpur, Kenny Rosmi decodes one of the Italian house’s most revered icon, the Knot bag.

Founded by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro in 1966 Vicenza, Italy, Bottega Veneta is second to none when it comes to understated luxury. Its motto, “when your own initials are enough”, encapsulates everything Bottega Veneta stands for. is was especially true in the late 70s, when the Italian label’s signature Knot bag became the antidote to an overtly glamorous sentiment, bringing “stealth wealth” to the forefront. From then on, its discreet appeal caught the attention of affluent and sophisticated fans such as Jackie Kennedy and the former Empress Farah Pahlavi. Lauren Hutton’s rich housewife in American Gigolo loved it, too—so much so that a bag was named after her (see: e Lauren 1980 clutch, reissued in honour of the label’s 50th anniversary).

Today, the Knot bag in the iconic Intrecciaton remains a symbol of quiet luxury, celebrated through the years be it in retrospect or reinvented under the artistic prowess of Tomas Maier.

INTRECCIATO: TRADITION AND INNOVATION

Steeped in the traditions of Italian craftsmanship, the duo began by creating artisanal leather goods using their very own braiding technique, known as Intrecciato. Historically, the Veneto region specialised in clothing production, and at that time, Bottega Veneta was predominantly a ready-to-wear fashion company that had not yet ventured into the accessories market.

When it began manufacturing, the sewing machines in the workshops were all geared to work only with fabrics. In order to craft leather goods, artisans used the softest of leathers that were compatible with their sewing machines. However, the leather proved to be too feeble. As a solution, the revolutionary duo fashioned a new technique by weaving the leather to make the material stronger and more durable.

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October 2017