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!

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

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