31 May2010

Bottega Veneta, Venice

by Marketman


What would a visit to Venice be without just a bit of window shopping? :) Bottega Veneta, that now ultra luxurious leather and clothing brand that doesn’t obnoxiously brand its goods is based in the Veneto, just on the mainland near Venice. So their stores in Venice are very close to “home”. Their tag line, coined decades ago “when your own initials are enough” says it all. No splashy BV’s all over their bags, just amazing leather and the finest craftsmanship. Sister has loved this brand for more than 30 years, long before it got so snazzy and fashionable. When I graduated from university, I received a wonderful leather attache case (yes, those dangerously rectangular ones with corners) from Bottega Veneta, and it was the probably the Rolls Royce of attache cases at the time… I may have been the lowest man on the totem pole when I started to work, but my briefcase was the one the CEO’s wanted…heehee. I still have it today, a bit weathered and battered, but better with age. It’s probably considered “vintage” at this point…


Strolling through the alleys with lots of luxury shops, I could sense we were near the original Bottega Veneta location in Venice, but once in front of the store, realized it had undergone a MAJOR facelift, complete with an utterly STUNNING chandelier from Murano at the center of the store. We entered the shop and Mrs. MM checked out the bags, The Teen tried on some outrageous sunglasses, and I nearly had heart failure when told what luggage prices were like these days…


The brand has returned to its roots of incredibly supple leather hand-woven like a “banig” or mat. Copies are readily available in the Greenhills tiangge in San Juan, but trust me, next to a real bag, fake is fake. :)


Honestly, I think many of their prices are well beyond affordable, but it’s nice to browse nonetheless.


While those who know the brand would be able to point out a Bottega Veneta bag or briefcase on the street, others would be clueless… and that is definitely part of the appeal.


This shot of another branch of BV elsewhere in Venice; look closely at the reflection of the people crossing a pedestrian bridge in the shop window… I thought that was cool.



  1. Lei says:

    same here love bottega because of the fact that it needs no ubiquitous initials on their bags. love that they don’t scream for attention. saving for one hehe

    May 31, 2010 | 12:35 pm


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  3. Lemons and Anchovies says:

    Thanks for posting one of my absolute favorite labels–how fun! I was introduced to the brand by a CNN style show hosted by Elsa Klensch which I watched in the 80s and 90s. It seems that there has been a resurgence in BV’s popularity in the last few years–nice to see-but like you, I appreciate most of all the discreet luxury one can enjoy owning a BV item.

    It’s been fun seeing all your Venice-related posts. My husband and I stayed just a few doors from the BV shop so it was a treat to be so near the boutique. I’m a huge fan. Thanks!

    May 31, 2010 | 12:52 pm

  4. Mimi says:

    Hubby gave me a BV wallet about four years ago, I did not know how much it was until I looked one day. Gave me an apoplexy! As much as I appreciate his generosity, I told him NEVER gift me anything worth so exorbitant as I’d rather put the money aside for mortgage payment. I do admit my BV is still ‘buong-buo’ even with all the wear-and-tear it gets.

    May 31, 2010 | 2:12 pm

  5. frenchadobo says:

    I truly appreciate your generosity for posting your recent voyage. It gives us precious and useful informations about the place . Venice is definitely on my list to visit but it has to wait as recently, my husband and i decided to do a tour de france

    May 31, 2010 | 4:04 pm

  6. Marissa says:

    Gosh I would love a BV Intrecciato bag but the price is just exorbitant. I’d rather put the money in a time deposit account for the future. It truly is the most luxurious brand around.

    May 31, 2010 | 5:42 pm

  7. Footloose says:

    Just when one thinks the French taught us everything about douceur de vivre, the Italians sneak up on you with their fantastic leather, luxurious cashmeres, fast cars and ultimate pianos. Hard to keep up.

    Logos nowadays is one more cross that conscientious consumers have to bear. I use to take off tailor’s labels from my trousers back pockets and the alligator patches from my polo shirts but RL embroidered the damned pony on it so I gave up. They doubled down on their original sin recently by enlarging it so it is now easier to set apart tolerable vulgar from egregious vulgar.

    May 31, 2010 | 6:09 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    Footloose. Hahaha. I have always wondered why they can’t just make a line of perfectly good polo shirts in top quality cotton and NOT put any logos on it. In fact, call it “No Brand” and from there move onto trousers, sweaters, etc. They could charge say 50-60% of a normal branded good, then they should have lots of customers. For all of you out there that have purchased a Polo shirt from Ralph Lauren (I am guilty of this too), I used to work for a bank that financed exports of said shirts and I would inspect goods at the factory every once in a while… at the time, they retailed for some $40-50 per piece in New York. We used to load them onto containers at roughly $3-4 per piece! Unfortunately, controls were so good, our client wouldn’t even dare have a dozen or so fall off a truck in my size… :)

    May 31, 2010 | 6:30 pm

  9. atbnorge says:

    I also don’t like screaming brand logos. My sister gave me a Gucci bag with the big intertwined gold Gs. But geezzz, even if don’t let the logo show, some friends really examined the bag to check if it was genuine. I was so embarassed. I mean, it’s just a bag, but I do love quality. That is why whenever I want to use a really expensive bag without the screaming logo, I use a very old Ferragamo and nobody gave a damn. That’s bag utopia for me because I am the type who just put the thing down on the floor (or under any table) whenever I am at gatherings…I hate it when people put their expensive belongings on top of any table! I chanced upon someone like that and my forked tongue came out, hahaha! I asked the person to move her “comadrona bag” some place else so that people can put their coffee cups on the table.

    May 31, 2010 | 6:41 pm

  10. atbnorge says:

    Moreover, I’d rather see one who is proud of his fish pan than his bag, LOL!!!

    May 31, 2010 | 7:37 pm

  11. millet says:

    no, i can’t afford any of them, but i don’t like those signature things where the logos seem to be shouting and jumping at you. class and elegance are still best expressed with a whisper.

    May 31, 2010 | 10:04 pm

  12. wanderingfoodie says:

    i agree with you MM, fake is fake. i would rather buy a nice brand less stuff than buying a fake one….

    @millet: so true, class and elegance are still best expressed with a whisper.

    Jun 1, 2010 | 12:31 am

  13. Lissa says:

    Hi MM, mind posting a picture of your weathered BV attache case? = )

    Jun 1, 2010 | 8:57 am

  14. tuhashaligi says:

    Kiton FTW!

    Jun 1, 2010 | 10:24 am

  15. quiapo says:

    I have no idea what the bags cost these days but in 1983 my wife was given a BV red woven bag, which then cost me $700 US. It is still supple, looks unblemished, and is still used looking really nice, so over time it has been a sound economic purchase, whereas bags costing about $200 have lasted only a few years.

    Jun 1, 2010 | 12:23 pm

  16. sha says:

    cant stand big logos that is why I dont owe coach bag ;-) but I have a cool furla which I have for 6 years now but all worth it.

    Jun 1, 2010 | 3:11 pm

  17. Didi says:

    This is my dream bag, the leather is oh so soft and i love the smell of their leather!

    For now, this is still a dream – I think I’d be dreaming for a long long long while..

    Till then – all I can do is ‘window’ shop for them.

    Jun 3, 2010 | 4:50 pm


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