Iconic 'It Bags' to Know and Invest in: Bottega Veneta
By far the most asked about bags when we posed the question: "What are the 'It' bags you love but are 100 per cent sure about?" Daniel Lee's Bottega Veneta collection made the top of the list.
Let me be clear: If I could, I would have the whole collection lined up on my shelf like sculptures. But I, like most people, could only afford one at a time, and so I needed to make sure I wouldn't regret it. A reader asked, "are they trend pieces or forever?" and I, too, asked myself that question. Personally, I feel now that Lee's has developed several seasons of bags for the house, it's clear that his signature tone will remain, and while there will be a ludicrous shape here or there (ie: the Fringe Crisscross bag), for the most part the silhouettes are quite reliable. As such, I would say yes to investing in a Bottega purse. Now the question is: Which one?
The key to purchasing an "It Bag" that stands the test of time is finding one that walks the difficult line between being identifiable yet versatile. Unfortunately, for me, that means the Bottega Pouch, Shoulder Pouch and Mini Size Bag fail the first test because too many contemporary brands have sadly ripped off the simple shape. The Fringe and Shell bags fail the second test because you'll likely get sick of the flashy style in a few months.
The only ones I'd really consider purchasing are the Jodie, Chain and Cassette, but even then, they have their pros and cons. "I'm not sure about the Chain Pouch, it's too cute but it's too heavy!" said one reader. Funnily enough, when I previewed the collection during Milan Fashion Week, the sample actually had a hollow chain. Everyone was happily surprised at how light the bags were. But when the actual merchandise dropped, they had filled in the chain, perhaps to give customers the feeling that they were getting their bang for their buck, but it actually turned people off of the design. I actually have the Chain Pouch in white, and while I still love it, I do still wish they had left it hollow, because I don't use it as much as I would have liked.
Next up is the Jodie. A reader asked about the mini orange one I carried around during Fashion Month, and I have to say I was happily surprised at how much it fits (a mini water bottle and a scarf!), and how easily it went with all of my monochromatic looks, from blacks to browns. For women who are more petite in stature, I'd say go for the mini size over the maxi or small and don't be afraid to get it in a punchy pop of colour. The Arco for me falls in this category but I've heard several people complain that the opening is rather inconvenient. As a rule of thumb (my personal preference), I go for bright colours only if they're mini in size and prefer neutral colours for big bags.
(Related: Why Bottega Veneta’s New Cork Bag is a Sustainable and Stylish Option)
Last but not least, the Cassette. I'd hands down go for the Padded Cassette over the Cassette (which looks and feels too flimsy), and opt for the regular strap instead of the chain. I like that this bag can be held as a clutch or crossbody which checks the versatile box and is also one of Lee's most recognisable styles. For my next Bottega purchase, it'll likely be a padded cassette maybe in the chocolate brown which I feel serves the wearer equally well in summer and winter.
(Related: 12 Contemporary Bag Labels To Shop)