Bottega Veneta was everywhere in Milan this week — and not just on the soles of every influencer. Ahead of its Milan Fashion Week show on Thursday, the brand plastered its ads on every single billboard and trolley bus in the Italian city, it’s minimalist aesthetic maximized in mass messaging.
It was also the hot ticket of the week, and throngs of fans, all wearing their square-toed knot sandals and mesh pumps, piled into the show — or didn’t get in.
On the actual runway, there were a few possible contenders to pass the baton in the hotly contested relay for the “It” shoe. Model Irina Shayk walked out in a pair of cobalt-blue sandals, a simple two-strap heeled sandal done in Bottega’s now-signature puffed-style leather, this time in a twisted motif that riffed off of the Italian brand’s traditional weaving techniques.
Infusing a new spirit of dynamic minimalism into a heritage house that specializes in leather has been the name of the game for Daniel Lee. The 33-year-old Celine and Balenciaga alum has turned Bottega Veneta upside down since being named its creative director in June 2018.
He’s also produced what is widely perceived to be the latest “It” shoe in fashion. Depending on who you ask, that would be either the mesh pump, which first debuted for pre-fall ’19, or the strappy sandal. Both have a square toe shape that has already produced countless copies and odes.
For spring ’19, Lee continued to play with the idea of puffed-up leather, but he brought it back to Bottega’s more traditional design codes, using the soft shapes to weave leather into its signature intrecciato fine weaving technique. It was done on the aforementioned two-strap slide sandal, which also came in orange, purple, white and brown. Just as the square toe is starting to really warm up, Lee showed the sandal with an almond-shape toe instead.
The marshmallow intrecciato was also found on even simpler slide sandals that are sure to have commercial staying power. “If Lee keeps moving the silhouettes on like he did today whilst still maintaining that timeless luxury look that he has mastered, then Bottega Veneta is here to stay,” said Ida Petersson, womenswear buying director at Browns Fashion.
See more styles on the runway from Bottega Veneta’s spring 2020 Milan Fashion Week show.