It has become quite the thing for luxury brands to celebrate events, from anniversaries to new stores, with special items, and particularly handbags – collectors can build up a whole array of commemorative bags. Usually these are limited editions in an exotic skin or exclusive colourways that have added cachet thanks to their rarity or the occasion they mark. Bottega Veneta’s highly crafted bags are some of the world’s most covetable, so its special editions always raise excitement levels.
Its newest is to celebrate the opening of the brand’s new maison (third and fourth pictures) – only the second worldwide – in Beverly Hills on Friday May 6. The first is in a Milan palazzo, opened in 2013 in modern classic Italian style; the Beverly Hills building is very different, and here creative director Tomas Maier, who is also celebrating his 15th year with the brand, is inspired by the distinctive architectural heritage of the area, using the Mexican colonial and Mediterranean revival style that characterised much early-20th-century south Californian architecture. To this he adds a sense of light and spaciousness balanced with intimacy that is modern and welcoming.
The limited-edition bags, available exclusively at the new maison, are both nostalgic and modern. The soft, curve-topped, shoulder-chain style is a 2016 reworking of a 1971 bag in the house archive, and its name – Beverly 71/16 – tells the story. It comes in a volcanic red (first picture), black or cigar deerskin with the sides in signature handwoven intrecciato (£2,450), or in deep Pacific blue (second picture), red or peony soft crocodile (£21,275). Burnished metal hardware also gives a modern touch. The same design in nappa leather with intrecciato (£2,285) will be available at all BV stores worldwide. Next up? The exclusive bag for the third maison, in New York next year.