The new Bottega Veneta Initials Initiative (1)

A few short weeks ago, Megs and I received an invitation to the launch of a new online initiative by the Italian fashion house that would be held during the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Details were kept under tight wraps, all we could do was to speculate that the new launch was involving bags of sorts. Details aside, the short trip was going to involve Bottega Veneta, Milano, new bags, pasta, and fresh local burrata cheese. Sign me up.

Shortly after arriving in Milan, we headed to the BV headquarters where we were introduced to the Bottega Veneta Initials campaign. Extending the philosophy of individuality and confidence of the company’s motto “When your own initials are enough”, customers now have the option to adorn their favorite handcrafted Bottega pieces with the elegance of a monogram. Tomas Maier, the creative director at Bottega Veneta, expressed his excitement over the launch because it allows “to take the customer-centered philosophy of Bottega Veneta one step further.”


A wide variety of shoppers, totes, messengers, as well as wallets, iPad cases, belts and other small leather goods are available for initialing, all made of the signature woven intrecciato nappa leather and new back-lined in suede on the interior. Colors for the leather include rich hues of red, nero, celestial blue and vermillion, among others. The monograming font is available in three sizes (2cm, 2.5cm and 3cm in height) and eight shades and is currently only offered in one uppercase latin type face.

Initial Impressions

The Initials initiative adds a distinctly fresh flavor to the clean, understated minimalist looks we’ve come to love from Bottega Veneta. I see the brand aiming to appeal to a younger crowd that places great importance on individualizing their tech gadgets and fashion accessories in an effort to stand apart from the rest. Traditionalists will undoubtedly embrace the new feature with hesitation, viewing the paint on their precious intrecciato as a disturbance of a classic.

Each of us in attendance was given the opportunity to select and initial our own bag. Megs picked a Nero Intrecciato Nappa Tote with a colorful rendition of her initials while I opted for a simple green ‘V’ in the lower right corner of the Ebano Intrecciato VN Cross Body Messenger. A few short hours later, our bags were ready for pickup after an artisan meticulously silk screened the initials onto the leather in the back room. We had hoped to closely examine the monograming process for our readers, which unfortunately was not possible at the time.

We learned that months were spent at Bottega to perfect the initials process to make it work with the woven nappa intrecciato. Upon closer examination, BV appears to have done a fine job applying the paint over the leather, tightly filling the fine gaps between the individually criss-crossed stripes of leather. Whether or not the initials can withstand the prolonged stress of daily use and the natural flex and stretch of the leather will show with time.

From my understanding, Bottega aims to include this initiative as a constant to its product line and will continue to develop it further in the future.

In the meanwhile, if you are looking to add classic, lightweight staples with a modern, young twist to your wardrobe, visit Bottega Veneta Initials and play with the intuitive online interface to customize your own bag or accessory.

Prices range from $400-800 for small leather goods and around $1,500-2,200 for the totes and messenger bags. Our personal review of each of our bags will come soon!

  • Shmata123

    Sorry! Not loving it.  I feel it ruins the aestetic of the bag. Too bold and silkscreen? Really? I would prefer a softer, smaller font size in a corner in a more subdued color that compliments the leather, woven in leather!

  • Erfan Mahlodji

    hmm….I am a little dissapointed. While I LOVE BV, I don´t feel that the brand and aestetics will benefit from this. It cheapens the look, IMO. Why not stamping/smaller font/different kind of Monograming? This looks too much like Goyards and LV monogramming.

  • Pandako

    They look chip.,, Why they do write letters on fine soft leathers? I prefer sort of initial charms with woven string to personalize…. 

    • Pandako

      chip-> cheap

  • A Reader

    The monogram ruins what is otherwise a beautiful, classic bag.

  • Kemilia

    These initials really look cheap, like they were painted on with white-out (in different colors). At first I thought they might be done with leather strips woven in, which might have been ok.

  • Riley

    They are clearly going the route of Goyard and Louis Vuitton with the personalization of their product. I think it will be popular with the consumer that has quite a few BV handbags or the consumer that loves to monogram their accessories.

  • Kathragland

    Oh, so disappointed in BV. I own several cabats and other BV bags and IMO, this ruins the lovely, simple  aesthetic of the bags.

  • Ben

    Everyone needs to realize this is complimentary and optional. You simply do not have to do this if you don’t like it. So I don’t see where these comments of “disappointment” and “cheap” come from, it’s not necessary.

    I respect all of your constructive comments, but I don’t see how it’s fair to criticize it just because you don’t like it personally.

    • Alexandra Davidoff

      If it’s not “fair to criticize” then why have an opinion at all? Having an opinion and putting down a comment is criticizing, be it a positive or negative one. 

      • Ben

        When I say “criticize” I mean those who are bashing it. It’s fine if you just say “im not a fan” or something, you don’t need to say it’s cheap. How would the people who own these personalized items feel if you say their items are cheap?

      • Faron Kee

        The problem is this is a luxury brand. The people who buy into all this crap like it to look expensive. That is the point! This looks cheap and takes away value from the bands equity.

    • Claudia

      Ben, What is with your sensitivity? we all know it is complimentary and we think its ugly. So, live with it ans stop bitching.

  • Alexandra Davidoff

    Sticking letters onto beautiful bags make them look cheap.  

    • Alice

       No No for me

  • No Thx

    Looks ugly wth those words on it. Pass

  • MISS JINJING

    i am collecting LV personalized bag…. love them so much.. but honestly… the font and the size and the colour pf the letters make botteg’s bags looks so cheap…. doesnt’ look good in woven leather…..  

  • Sil G

    i don’t like it either
    maybe if the letters were smaller, it’d work better?

  • Beeweb

    I agree with most others here that it looks cheap and the colors make the initials look cheesy. Would much prefer something woven or maybe small metal letters attached to the leather. Surprising that BV went this painted route.

  • MrsRance

    I don’t like it….it’s tacky! I will not do it :)

  • Doll house Boutique Sydney

    I went to Doll House and had the worst experience of my life. I ordered a dress 3 months before my formal and it didn’t come in. she told me the the dress was customised but was told a week before my formal that they could not do it and was told to chose another dress from the shop which upset me as I had my heart set on the dress I ordered. Thank you Doll House for destroying my only formal – it was the worst time.

  • 22Jewelry

    I’m loving the idea! Def. not a good look for everyday bags but def. a great look for luggage! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/diloklak Dilok Lak

    OMG!! that ruin it all.

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  • Faron Kee

    Good Lord. This is not a luxury look. Most SHOCKING is the vile colour.