Bottega Veneta invests in next generation

November 5, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

Bottega Veneta is taking matters into its own hands when it comes to the limited amount of available expert craftsmen. The luxury company is joining forces with local trade school Scuola d’Arte e Mestieri di Vicenza to establish a three-year education programme for luxury handbag maker hopefuls. The programme will first start this October. The brand’s chief executive Patrizio Di Marco said that craftsmen, especially pattern makers, were increasingly hard to come by and the company had therefore decided to resolve this problem itself. “There are things that you do with your hands that no book can teach you,” he told WWD last month. Bottega Veneta bags typically take days to make. Di Marco said the initiative was important for the cultivation of the next generation of artisans, whom he calls “the beating heart” of the company.

The school the company has teamed up with has a history dating back to the 16th century and offers a wide range of courses in jewellery making and creative product development. Some of its teachers will work on the Bottega Veneta programme in classrooms provided by the institution. “This (initiative) is not just the result of a lot of collaborative work, but also the development of a partnership between the world of education and the world of companies,” Augusto Peruz, the school’s president, said at a press conference. During the first two years of the programme, students will be taught to cut and hand-stitch leather and other skins by Bottega’s artesans. The third year will focus on pattern making. After each year of study, students can opt to continue or enter a low-level Bottega factory position as an intern. The tuition is free. Students will also receive theory in the history of fashion and the use of animal skins, will be taught English and follow computer technology lessons. The importance of the artesans was reaffirmed by creative director Tomas Maier, who said in a statement: “We, as designers, have never imagined something that these crafts-people couldn’t produce.”