Bottega Veneta has announced the departure of its creative director Tomas Maier, who had joined the Italian fashion house in 2001. The company said, Maier crafted its renaissance by drawing on the exceptional know-how of the house and thanks to his creative vision, Bottega Veneta today embodies the quintessence of understated and sophisticated luxury.
"It's largely due to Tomas's high-level creative demands that Bottega Veneta became the house it is today. He put it back on the luxury scene and made it an undisputed reference. With his creative vision, he magnificently showcased the expertise of the House’s artisans," stated François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering.
Tomas Maier - A man behind revival of Bottega Veneta’s glory
After joining as creative director of Bottega Veneta in 2001, Kering website says, Maier became the driving force behind the label’s growth. He established Bottega Veneta as one of the world’s top luxury goods houses. Working with what he called “the four cornerstones”: fine-quality materials, extraordinary craftsmanship, contemporary functionality, and timeless design, Maier also affirmed that Bottega Veneta would return to its logo-less heritage, conveyed in through its slogan, “When your own initials are enough.”
Under Maier, Bottega Veneta witnessed rapid growth with its revenues surpassing a 1 billion mark by 2012. The label emerged as Kering’s fastest-growing business, just after Gucci. In 2013, Kering also made an investment in Maier’s namesake brand, which was founded in 1997.
Maier had joined Bottega Veneta after designing for some of the prestigious fashion and luxury good houses in France, Italy, and Germany, including Guy Laroche, Sonia Rykiel, where he designed men’s wear for eight years, and Revillon, where he spent four years as creative director, for nine years, Maier was a women’s ready-to-wear designer at Hermès, where he also designed some leather goods and accessories.
Falling sales and momentum: reason behind Maier’s exit?
After witnessing a robust growth under Maier, from 2015, the company’s sales started allowing. In 2016, total revenue declined 9 percent to 1.173 million (1.4 billion dollars), while growth remained flat in 2017.
To revive sales and increase visibility, Bottega Veneta opened its largest store on Madison Avenue in Manhattan in February and also moved its runway show from Milan to New York Fashion Week.
However, media reports suggest that Kering was not happy with the way Bottega Veneta has been progressing in the recent years compared to other labels under its fold like Gucci, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent. This is expected to be the reason behind Maier’s exit from the business after almost 17 years. While Maier’s replacement is expected to be announced in a due course, Kering has not disclosed whether the move will have an impact on its partnership with the designer’s namesake label.
Photo: Tiziana Fabi / AFP