October 3, 2019

Last updated on November 8, 2019

Bottega Veneta's "The Pouch" is the It Bag of the Season


Content Director, StockX Bags

If Bottega Veneta’s new pouch was on a missing persons poster with a reward, we’d all be collecting those coins right now. From Instagram to the international streets of every fashion week this month, “The Pouch” is impossible to miss. If you’re a minimalist, feel free to rejoice – after a revival of repeating monograms across the world of bags for the last few years, the anti-logo movement is here and “The Pouch”  just might be its new superstar. Read on to learn more about the It bag of the season.

The Designer

After 17 years at Bottega’s helm, Tomas Maier turned over the brand’s reigns to British-born Daniel Lee, who succeeded him as creative director in 2018. Lee graduated from Central Saint Martins in London, working for fashion houses like Maison Margiela, Donna Karen, and Balenciaga before he joined Céline in 2012 as director of ready-to-wear.

When Kering, Bottega’s parent company, announced Lee’s appointment, he was relatively unknown, but excited to be joining the brand. “Maintaining the ingrained codes of the House, craftsmanship, quality, and sophistication, I look forward to evolving what has gone before, while contributing a new perspective and modernity,” Lee said in a press release.

The appointment followed Kering’s trend of taking chances on young visionaries, like Alessandro Michele at Gucci and Demna Gvasalia at Balenciagia. “By entrusting the entire creative direction of Bottega Veneta to Daniel Lee, a talented young designer, Kering continues to place bold and daring creativity at the center of its strategy,” the luxury group said.

Lee’s new role comes at a time when Céline fans are still dealing with the brand sans Phoebe Philo, who ended her creative directorship in 2017. With his minimalist approach and dedication to “just make some really great clothes for people to live in and love and really enjoy,” Bottega’s new direction with a Celine alum at the helm might be the answer “Philophiles” are looking for. He’s already inspired a new dedicated Instagram account, @newbottega.

The Brand

Founded in 1966 in Vicenza, Italy by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro, Bottega Veneta (which means “Venetian Shop” in Italian) has focused on producing quality accessories – around 85 percent of its sales come from leather goods. The luxury brand has a loyal following who value well made goods with understated, quiet style.

It is known for its trademark woven “Intrecciato” design, created almost accidentally in the 1960s due to the region’s sewing machines which were designed to work with fabric, not leather. Instead, the brand used delicate leather, weaving strips together to create the  durable yet stylish”Intreccatio” pattern which took off. In 2006, Bottega even opened a school to train future generations of leather artisans.

Former creative director Tomas Maier, who came to Bottega at a time when it was struggling, overhauled the brand back to its roots, concentrating on this pattern, and the continued dedication to chic, logo-less designs (Bottega’s tagline was once “when your own initials are enough.”)

As the buzz around Lee and his debut collections grow, he’s staying true to what Bottega stands for. “We have a name and everyone knows it,” he told Vogue. “But it’s not going to be about logoed product.”

The Bag

Unveiled during Bottega‘s Spring/Summer 2019 campaign, “The Pouch” comes in a variety of colors and textures – from smooth like butter calf leather to the iconic Intreccatio weave pattern. Its classic shape is instantly recognizable, making it a piece that will stand the test of time. A magnetic frame opens up to a single compartment lined in natural suede. It also comes in a smaller version (dubbed “The Pouch 20”).

The Buzz

Though it debuted in the Spring/Summer 2019 show, the buzz around Bottega’s “The Pouch” didn’t reach its peak until this summer. By the time fashion month came around, it became an uncontrollable phenomenon, appearing so frequently on the streets of Paris, Milan, London and New York, that you’d think it was a coordinated marketing ploy (highly possible) to get “The Pouch” maximum exposure.

On Instagram, it was almost impossible to scroll on by without seeing one on your timeline, from Rihanna to Rosie Huntington-Whitley, to the influencers you love, and the ones you love to hate.

The excitement lead to the first collection quickly selling out, but many of the bags are appearing in the resale market. The Pouch, in updated versions, even appeared on the runway at the Spring 2020 Bottega Veneta show at Milan Fashion Week, so this cult classic is definitely here to stay.