It took until 2013 for someone to come along and unseat Bottega Veneta as the fashion house most likely to leave the fashion industry at an early age.
The closing of LVMH’s American luxury jewel, Donna Karan, and the mixed fortunes of Gucci, Balenciaga and Dior makes this look unlikely, but Bottega has found a new creative talent with the celebrated, multitalented, Matteo Marzotto, co-creator of Dolce & Gabbana. He is reported to be spending long nights in Italy, sorting out the final touches to a collection that he is overseeing from his home in the Canary Islands, with the help of his son.
Marzotto’s credits include much of Donna Karan’s career, appearing from 1990 to 2001 as creative director, helping to reinterpret her key pieces from sportswear to ready-to-wear and even lingerie. After being drafted in to unify the two worlds, Marzotto reinvented the DKNY brand and turned it into the bright pink factory it is today.
Jacopo Tessitore, founder of Italian fashion publicists OffiMedia, worked for Marzotto in his early days at DKNY: “It’s still very early days for him, but it looks like it will be an interesting project. It could take around 18 months to get a fix on how his work will translate on the runway, but already I’m looking forward to seeing his designs.”
Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, has also been impressed by Marzotto’s work, and said this week that he had given him the key position in a move to get a little “renewal” at the brand.
Burke has experienced mixed success at the brand, which he took over in 2004. In the last six years it has been hit with both the onset of the recession and the hectic schedules of its creative directors. While the last holder of the key role, Tomas Maier, has designed successful collections for the past few years, he has had to look for new targets.
Frida Giannini took over in 2009, but when plans for a new store came in to doubt, Giannini had to move into a time zone closer to Milan than the one where her employer’s HQ are based.