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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY L’OFFICIEL HOMMES
Bottega Veneta’s creative director, Tomas Maier shares the secrets of the reinvention of luxury to the man of the future
Since 2001 on the frontline of the Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier is the precursor of a silence revolution in fashion. While the world was becoming fast and fashion cheap, the German focused on creating in a slower and deeper space and time. Focusing on handmade pieces and a stripped-down style, no logos or any sign of ostentation, Bottega is famous among the insiders as the true luxury symbol, the one that we only feel by touching the piece, the precise finishing and internal details that only who has it, knows.
He had already worked at Hermès, Sonia Rykiel and Guy Larouche, but it was at Bottega Veneta that he has stablished and applied the four main pillars of the brand that blend with his identity as a designer: high quality materials, extraordinary craftsmanship, contemporary functionality and timeless design.
Besides managing the male and female lines of the brand, Maier is also releasing the book “Bottega Veneta: Art of Collaboration” by the end of this year, in collaboration with the photographer Juergen Teller.
In an exclusive interview, we get to know Tomas Maier’s universe and creative vision.
The fashion industry is constantly challenged to create clothes that represent the modern lifestyle. Do you project an aspirational man?
I do not develop collections for any kind of man. My design philosophy is a result of a passion and the commitment with my exceptional craftwork. The only translation for it would be a lifestyle. I want to create clothes I would wear but that are not exaggerated or following any trends. What really matters is the choice of the best materials.
In my opinion, Bottega Veneta focuses in a simple but original luxury. Is there a key-formula to develop clothes that are as casual as they are luxurious?
What has always attracted me were clothes that transmit a sense of individualism and non-conformism. Our clothes have a relaxed styles, yet they are unmatched because of the way they make the consumer feel, they are functional and at the same time luxuriously built with extraordinary materials that are often used in an unexpected manner.
The sports universe seems to be a reference to you, as a designer. How do you include these elements in your collections?
The social standards are in constant flow. There will always be a need for a good suit with an exceptional cut, but we cannot ignore that the contemporary man is dressing more causally in his day-to-day life. Our clothes can transmit the capability to dress with individuality, combining sportswear with a refined simplicity.
The arts universe is also something that is within your collections and campaigns. How do you connect this to the brand experience?
Art in all its forms – photography, architecture, cinema, design – is my passion and I use it to expand my impression of Bottega Veneta’s definition. It is through arts that we create the mood, the feeling, a history that goes beyond traditional fashion to express a broader idea of creativity and handicraft; that is what the brand represents.
Do you feel the need to create a lifestyle for men through your collections? If so, how would you describe this ideal way of living?
Our collections are always about style with individuality and it is not my intention to dictate rules of style. Our clients are confident and they have their own style. What they expect from us is real quality complemented by a certain level of eccentricity, which is already a trademark in our collections. I simply keep myself loyal to my own aesthetic sense, values and confidence that the others will share and appreciate my sensibility and my work.
How do you see man’s fashion evolving in the next five years?
I think our clients value quality and impeccable construction everyday more. There seems to be building perception of the meaning of real luxury. Attention to details, more exquisite materials and products done with a lot of beauty, that stand the test of time and even get better throughout the years. My hope is that this awareness and appreciation continue growing in man’s fashion and in general lifestyle.