Bottega Veneta’s new digital magazine is deliciously imaginative
In an unconventional and stealthy comeback in early January 2021, Bottega Veneta deleted her Instagram account and effectively wiped the brand’s social media from the internet. Followers have been left in the dark with no idea what to come next for the luxury fashion house for months – until now. Finally, the fashion house’s creative director, Daniel Lee, revealed the plan: Bottega Veneta created a digital magazine, well titled Problem, and it will act as the luxury fashion house alone virtual presence (their Insta will remain disabled). Quarterly issues will be released in tandem with the brand’s collections, and the first edition – which debuted this week – features Bottega Veneta’s spring 2021 collection, Salon 01.
During a interview with The Guardian, Lee revealed that he believes social media oversimplifies his work and “represents the homogenization of culture.” The 35-year-old designer hopes Problem will be a “more progressive and thoughtful” space for his creativity and this journey begins with the brand’s first digital newspaper. Number 1 is a compilation of photographs and videos that showcase the brand’s inventory in experimental experiments. You will see hands shaping balloons in those of Bottega Veneta flower chain jewelry, digital drops twisting into the looping coils found on the Branded cord ring, Tire Boots jello molds and Point bag, and, up close, you’ll notice that sunglasses and jewelry are trapped inside the confections – a very meta, gelatin-induced Bottega Veneta experience.
Other highlights of Number 1 include a glitzy interlude of Missy Elliot rapping her song “Hot Boyz” and edible shoe recreations by Tyler Mitchell, a New York-based culinary artist. Mitchell’s delightfully fabulous work features an almost side-by-side replica of Bottega Veneta Curve Sandals made of lilac frosting and a pair of Lido sandals made of handmade red candies. “I always catch myself looking at how beautiful it is [Bottega Veneta’s] the designs and craftsmanship are, ”Mitchell says in a conversation with TZR. Instead of focusing on integrating the brand’s pieces into her wardrobe, as other fashion admirers might, Mitchell views them through a food-specific lens. “I can’t help but imagine ways to reinvent their work after having had such a deep appreciation for it. ”
Mitchell is keen to say that his intricate art explores fashion trends, but his work is not sloppy fashion. “I like to focus on using edible items while being mindful of waste. I find myself leaning towards sweets (as they contain minimal nutritional value) and food packaging. If I use something like fresh produce, I use clear yarn and sanitary practices to keep it for personal consumption.
Mitchell also resonates with Lee’s decision to sever social media ties. “Choosing to do something like a digital magazine allows people to immerse themselves in an experience, rather than seeing a publication, clicking the like button and saying, ‘OK, I’m done’. Individuals can walk away with not only a deeper appreciation for the brand, but also for how creatives describe our appreciation, ”Mitchell adds. “[Bottega’s Issue] challenges the scope of what it means to be a timeless fashion brand and to be able to reinvent yourself again and again in exciting ways. “
If you’re sad about the Bottega Veneta shaped hole in your Instagram feed, fear not. The independent account @newbottega regularly posts select visuals of the brand, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s mirror selfies frequently feature pops from Bottega. Below you will find some of the elements that are represented in Number 1 (none of Mitchell’s sugary shoes are available for wear, unfortunately) and you can immerse yourself in the 133-page magazine at published bybottega.com.
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