CEO of Italian Fashion Brings Culture To Campus

Tradition. Elegance. Craftsmanship.

These are the cornerstones of the Italian fashion company Bottega Veneta.

The CEO of Bottega Veneta, Carlo Alberto Beretta, gave a lecture in Bartley Hall in the Nydick Commons entitled: The Timeless Luxury Model of Bottega Veneta. It was an event in a series of lectures regarding Italian business and the difference Italy makes.

This lecture focused on the company and how they run their business. But in the same way, it portrayed the way most of Italy runs a business and what values matter most to them in the creation of a product. According to Beretta, tradition, elegance, and craftsmanship are of utmost importance to their company.

As one of the leading luxury leather goods producers in the world, attention to detail and commitment to quality is essential. Each product is handmade by a master artisan in the Veneto region of Italy. They use only the finest leather and never settle for anything less. Beretta said that their quality is the main reason you can tell apart a Bottega Veneta bag from another brand.

“When your own initials are enough,” is their motto. If you look at a bag, you will never find their brand’s logo or label anywhere on the outside of the bag. They believe in the individuality of the wearer and that their product should only complement them, never take the stage. The fine leather and their signature design, intrecciato, is a woven leather that is unique and makes the bag identifiable as a Bottega Veneta without branding their name across it.

Personally, I love this approach and motto. Time and time again, I have liked a product for the most part, but have refrained from purchasing it due to the logo or brand name overpowering its own beauty. The fact that the company admires the customer enough to want to simply be an accessory that molds to the wearer’s body, is something unique and essential to their company.

Their creative director, Thomas Maier, once said, “A dress should enhance a woman’s beauty, not overshadow it.”

This luxury company brands itself in a way that makes customers want to spend the luxury prices on their products. When the customer can still be him or herself, without having to sacrifice quality, beauty, or timelessness, they will continue to pay higher prices.

I feel that this is something many other fashion companies can learn from Bottega Veneta and Italians in general. In the somewhat intimate lecture in Bartley, the CEO managed to captivate the entire audience and make them feel welcome and comfortable while still presenting on what he refers to as a luxury form of art. If other companies strived for the same quality, elegance, and craftsmanship that the Italian artisans aim for, the fashion industry could continue to thrive and become even stronger. I believe there is much to learn from the way Italy runs a business. Every country, every place, and every business has flaws and has room for improvement, but after studying in Italy myself for six weeks this summer, I got a taste of the people.

The Italian culture is strong and beautiful and rooted in tradition and the commitment to excellence. Even in their food industry, any chef in Italy is never finished with a dish until it is perfect and up to their standards. They strive for the best. If there is any culture to emulate, I would try my best to become a part of theirs.

This lecture by the CEO of Bottega Veneta really portrayed the main values rooted in Italian culture. I hope that it opened many people’s eyes to not only the company, but what it means to be in a truly Italian business.