Bottega Veneta’s Manhattan flagship likens a museum exhibition: an exquisitely curated collection of designs that demand appreciation. The upmarket Italian fashion brand specializing in leather handbags and RTW women’s and men’s fashion reimagines its flagship at 740 Madison Avenue.
Online shopping may be all the rage and uber convenient, but Bottega Veneta’s Manhattan flagship has an edge over buying online. 1. Amazing service. 2. Amazing ambiance. 3. Amazing aesthetics (plus, you can try on and drool over everything before you buy). While the $300 tees may break the month’s budget, I certainly enjoy (and advise) wandering through the store.
Tomas Maier, Bottega Veneta’s creative director, is the son of an architect. And he molds his knack for architectural craftsmanship into a standout boutique on Madison–the fashion house’s latest and largest locale, occupying three nineteenth-century townhouses.
Walking through the store is similar to strolling through a fashion museum, only you’re wandering through the time capsule of the house in the form of a capsule collection.
Bags and clothing are properly spaced. Whether artfully arranged on back-lit deep shelves, or two-finger spaced on the rack, every angle enables prime viewing. Emblems of the house are woven throughout: earrings, phone covers, trunks, bags, scarves, perfumes … all is fit in its place.
A design inspired by the area’s surrounding skyscrapers, Bottega Veneta has returned to its initial home on Madison after a stint on Fifth, due to Maier’s affinity for the area and brand aesthetics. They say fashion goes in cycles, and this could be said for Bottega Veneta, which opened its first non-Italian locale on Madison in 1972, where they welcomed patrons such as Jacqueline Onassis.
Occupying former private residences, the space maintains the natural light from its past. Daylight shines throughout the store–a rarity on a block lined with cold, artificially lit spaces.
Here, there is a sense of homey-ness with fresh white flowers as an added bonus. Details include bronze-ball-chain curtains, inspired by the Four Seasons Pool Room, along with modern, metal-looking mannequins, intimate lighting, and a winding stairwell.
This feeling continues upstairs into the fourth-floor “apartment,” designed to illustrate a residential space, mirroring the fantasy home of the imagined client, down to the smallest details: books on shelves, art on the wall, fresh flowers, a sofa, and a dining table. You’ll feel like you’re at a chic penthouse.
It’s a feeling you have to experience, and a space you have to witness. So pay this fashion brand that began less than 20 years ago a visit to fully appreciate the acute details–in the clothing and woven throughout the store.