The lack of experience communications professionals who can draw up a strategy (immediate, short term, medium term and long term) may have very serious negative consequences on the ‘revival’ of the brand (orchestrated by Daniel Lee) after its ‘crash’ during the last 2 years under the creative help of Tomas Maier.
With the obvious lack of an elaborate strategy on brand communications, Daniel Lee staged a rather ‘understated’ and humble ‘revival’ after the brand lost its clout and desirability – once the star of parent company Kering (formally Gucci Group). When he took over as Creative Director, Bottega Venega was a ‘tired’ and ‘dated’ brand with a repetitive and predictable aesthetic of the ‘intrecciato’ and ”logo-less”.
Lee re-interpreted the codes of Bottega Veneta such as the ”casette bag” with an overall small number of pieces in each seasonal collection. Subtly, each of his Bottega Veneta pieces included one of the pillars of the brand DNA which was outstanding quality of the craftsmanship, the finest leather and superlative finishes.
However, in his newly ”re-invented’ Bottega Veneta, Daniel Lee has only been proven to be successful with the accessories, specifically handbags and shoes. None of his fashion items came even closer to the success of the accessories he created. He also ditched the much appreciated Bottega Veneta home collection including furniture.
At the seemingly ‘climax’ of his brand transformation, Lee decided to shut down the brand social accounts, instead, increasing the brand’s exposure indirectly. Accounts such as #newbottega did not fool the online audience, being obvious it is controlled by Bottega Veneta.
It suddenly dawn on Lee, that he could ride the seemingly ‘controversy’ of vanishing from social media with the launch of each seasonal collection through a digital online magazine widely and freely accessible to the general public through a link. The first catalogue included some wannabe iconic looks as well as some ”inspirational board’ images.
The second such catalogue (”Salon 2”), which was aimed to capture the Fall Winter 2021-22 Bottega Veneta collection, however, on this occasion mystery and controversy, was replaced by utter defiance covered extensively by a surprising media segment – major global news agencies, major local and international daily newspapers, news TV stations (local and international). The message has been consistent ”German police investigates event(s) hosted by Bottega Veneta in Berlin at the Berghain techno club, followed by an after-party at luxury hotel Soho House in Berlin, amidst a Covid-19 pandemic lockdown”
Despite Bottega’s attempts to prevent attendees from photographing or live streaming from the event, outrageous images emerged with reportedly 300 people crammed in a closed space (with no fresh air), most of them not wearing a protective face mask and not maintaining any social distance. In attendance, were ”special” VIP invitees / guests from all over the world – ”bloggers”, ”v-loggers”, ”influencers”, ”content creators” and celebrities, mostly from the music scene – some of whom were flown in by Bottega Veneta, again, illegally, considering Germany still requires not only a negative Covid-19 PCR test but also a 5 day quarantine for ALL arrivals, with no exception.
Instead of overtly taking responsibility, Bottega Veneta assumed it could benefit from ”silence” of the present media and instead of accepting to be fined, three event suppliers found themselves taken to police stations, each being heftily fined. Ignorance, recklessness and stupidity are all ”acceptable” but what about overt and intentional ”defiance” and blackmail of media?!? This has nothing to do with mass market, luxury or any other brand positioning.
“This recent corporate booking, which occupied all rooms in the property, adhered to all legal guidelines. We are taking the case very seriously and are talking to everyone involved to find out exactly what happened,” Soho House Berlin told Tagesspiegel daily newspaper.
For other such ”controversial” inspired events, Soho House operates in many locations around the world, where, like in Berlin, it also claims to be a ‘private’ club / hotel / restaurant / lounge. Soho House Hotels will host you in their ”luxurious” premises and you can count on them turning a black-eye on whether its customers are breaking the law.
Luxury is not about despise, defiance, arrogance and superiority!
Luxury is about humbleness and #RESPECT !
Oliver Petcu, not in Berlin
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