New York's iconic The Strand Bookstore is a veritable institution. It's nearly 100 years old and it's one of the few remaining booksellers on that particular stretch of Broadway, containing millions of books and memories across three packed floors.
Luxury house Bottega Veneta appreciates that kind of legacy, as a similar sense of heritage is at the core of creative director Matthieu Blazy´s revised vision for the house. Plus, Blazy is himself a fan of The Strand.
As a kind of New York Fashion Week kick-off, Bottega Veneta is cementing Blazy's admiration for The Strand with a special event and trio of exclusive bags that riff on the bookstore's unmistakable totes, which are no less recognizable to New Yorkers than the totes sold by, well, The New Yorker.
Appropriately, Blazy has actually brought The New Yorker on board to produce a handful of its trademark single-panel cartoons with Bottega Veneta & The Strand's bags in mind. If you're already familiar, you know what to expect.
The three unique bags that Bottega Veneta designed for The Strand include a black "classic" tote (€1,500 or about $1,495), a yellow tote (€2,100 or about $2,090) and a tote woven in Bottega's signature Intrecciato weave (€3,130 or about $3,100), all of which place The Strand's logo front and center in an homage to the conventional canvas bags that The Strand has offered for decades.
On September 8, the day before the NYFW calendar officially begins, Bottega Veneta & The Strand's bag collection launches on the Bottega web store and in its Soho flagship store.
The release will be commemorated by an intimate, VIP-only event at The Strand hosted by Matthieu Blazy himself.
A selection of rare books will then go on display at The Strand and the aforementioned Bottega store until September 30.
Curated by Blazy, the collection includes coveted tomes from the likes of Wolfgang Tillmans, Isa Genzken, Alvaro Barrington, and Carl Aubock.
Note that Bottega isn't presenting Blazy's new collection in New York but will instead present during Milan Fashion Week on September 24.
However, this partnership with The Strand is indicative of Blazy's Nü Bottega.
He's been looking backwards to move forwards, reviving a classic campaign devised by NYC's own Andy Warhol, subtly advertising in Bottega's native Venice, and, of course, toying with house icons in his seasonal collections, the latest of which is being published as a book to reiterate Blazys love for the medium; Bottega Veneta x The Strand is only the next natural progression.
Clever nods to Bottega's legacy as a purveyor of fine leather goods and, of course, that timeless Intrecciato are omnipresent.
But, despite all the deserved Bottega buzz, the brand is still not on social media. It prefers a slower approach, you see, one that's paced like a good book and no less emphasis on tangibility.
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