Bottega Veneta and craftsmanship go hand in hand, but most customers never get to witness the work of the brand’s meticulously trained Italian artisans. When the opportunity to watch them ply their craft presents itself, you don’t want to miss it. Vlad and I feel incredibly lucky to have been witness to the magic of the Bottega Veneta artisans twice now.

Last night, we attended an event with artisans on hand to kick off the three-day Bottega Veneta Initials / Stitching event that the brand is currently holding in New York. The event offers customers the opportunity to discover the hand of their artisans, who have traveled from the atelier in Italy to offer Bottega Veneta’s personalization service.

Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (2)

Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (3)

Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (4)

Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (5)

The personalization service gives customers an opportunity to have their bags come to life as their own, with crocodile initials hand-stitched onto select items. Bottega Veneta is known for its Intrecciato products, and the ability to add your initials takes the elegance and individuality of each piece to the next level. The brand envelops itself with four cornerstones: outstanding craftsmanship, innovative design, contemporary functionality and the highest quality materials, each principle as important as the next.

The stitching event is a special treat for customers. After you decide on a bag to customize (options of totes and messenger bags in Intrecciato nappa, ostrich or karung), you then pick the color and letters you would like to add.

You can add up to three letters to the bag in a rainbow of colors. I saw a few people people opting for the same color and letter combos, but I loved seeing others go for bold pairings, and even switch up the colors of the initials. Next, your bag and initials are given to the artisan, and from there, the hands of the artisans comes to life as you watch them work.

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Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (9)

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Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (10)

The artisan takes the bag and finds the dead center of the front panel, and from that guide point, she places a template that ensures the initials will be evenly placed. Next, a touch of an adhesive is added to the back of each initial, and the initial is perfectly set in its position. Then, the artisan takes a tool that fits in the hole where the stitching is to take place and hammers down ever so intently.

Next comes the stitching, and here is where the magic of movement can be seen, as the stitch flows in and out with passion and skill. There is a feeling of connection that happens, and even though I didn’t have a bag made, I felt a fondness for the products being produced. The stitching continues until each initial is secured, and the artisan finishes by hand-stitching a Bottega Veneta suede nameplate inside of the bag.

Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (7)

Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (6)

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Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (14)

The process is magical, and if you’re in the NYC area, you won’t want to miss it. The demonstration will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and April 26, from 10:00am – 7:00pm and Sunday, April 27 from 12:00pm – 6:00pm, in the New York City flagship store at 699 Fifth Avenue.

The artisans’ next stop will be in Hawaii, where you can also take part in the Botttega Veneta Initials / Stitching experience. The Hawaiian demonstration will take place on May 2 through May 3, from 9:30am – 9:00pm, and on May 4 from 10:00am – 7:00pm, in the Honolulu Ala Moana Center boutique.

If you can’t make it to either event, you can still custom order hand-painted items with your initials from Bottega Veneta.

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Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (16)

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Bottega Veneta Initials: The Artisans (18)

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