WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
We dissect Bottega’s disappearing act from social media: Why is the brand playing hard to get and does this means we’ll crave its shoes more or less in 2021?
Neon mules, a Bottega Veneta signature can be spotted miles away, but how does the future look for everyones favourite brand?
By now you’ve probably heard the news of Bottega’s disappearing act from social media. Just as the year turned and the brand was getting ready to debut its new Wardrobe 01 collection, instead of talking to its 2.5 million followers and using social media to promote the new range, the brand chose to delete its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
When reached for comment, the label simply chose to stay mute. What could this Greta Garbo act mean for the future of the brand and for our shoe wardrobes? Is it choosing a more under-the-radar future, away from viral accessories? Or is this just a way to create buzz and keep us craving new colourways of the Stretch sandals and Lug boots?
It’s a publicity stunt,” said Bryanboy, the influencer and outspoken fashion commentator.
He might as well be right: It’s been an exceptionally quiet start to the year, clouded by political chaos and renewed Covid-related restrictions, so leaving social media offered the brand a way to grab the fashion audience’s attention in a way that no new season campaign could. It’s an age-old marketing tactic that dictates that if there are no news, you should create the news yourself.
SHOP BOTTEGA VENETA’S NEW SEASON SHOES
In October, Kering – Bottega’s owner – also advertised a new job opening for global social media manager at the label, with the job specifications stating that the company was on the lookout for someone to “develop an overarching global social media strategy.”
So unless they had a last-minute change of heart – unlikely for such a big conglomerate – this could be part of the newly-hired social media manager’s strategy to keep Bottega top of mind while they are busy updating its social identity and plotting a triumphant return – playing hard to get doesn’t just work in romantic relationships after all.
If you think about it, Bottega Veneta wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for Instagram and the many content creators that invested their own cash – the brand does very little gifting – on the label’s now-infamous chunky boots and square-toe mules. Can they even afford to leave the platform for good and keep up the same success, at a time when most stores remain closed and online communication is the only available option?
Then again, Instagram is also known for dropping brands and trends, just as quickly as it lifts them up. Case in point: Gucci and its fur-trimmed loafers, logo moccasins and so many more.
Bottega has been on a high for quite some time, so this could be the brand’s way of preventing an inevitable low and charting a new future for itself: A quieter, more exclusive one where fashion shows take place behind closed doors, news aren’t broadcasted to the world but quietly communicated to its most loyal clients, and products aren’t as easily accessible.
In other words, Bottega wants to tear a page or two out of Hermes’ playbook. A move that makes sense, if you also account for the rumoured price increases said to be coming this year.
The brand has not confirmed any of the rumours just yet, but sources have spoken of a 3 to 10 percent increase on hero products, which is bound to include signature shoes like the Lug boots and Lido mules.
Assumptions aside, one thing’s for sure: Instagram or no Instagram, the brand is doing just fine for the time being.
Its newly-launched pre-spring collection is already selling like hot cakes and includes an array of new footwear styles with best-seller potential, namely the new Bounce boots, a black combat style featuring taupe rubber soles in Daniel Lee’s exaggerated proportions. There’s also new versions of the popular stretch sandals – updated with dainty gold chains – and the ‘Rubber Lido’ mules that now come in a less padded version.
A new, more low-key family dubbed ‘The Band’ has also been added to the brand’s shoe range, featuring flat sandals and simple block-heeled mules – yet another sign of the brand’s ambitions to join Hermes’ premium ranking and offer more timeless classics and less seasonal, Instagram-friendly shoes?
Either way, retailers around the world have rushed to stock up on the new collection. You’ll find a particularly wide offer on Mytheresa, which has also scored an exclusive iteration of the Stretch sandal in a neutral python print.
Asked if the Bottega buzz – and subsequent sales – will continue into the new year, Mytheresa’s fashion buying director Tiffany Hsu said to expect more from the brand: “New colours and new variations will still continue into 2021. I see high potential in the looks for the upcoming season,” she said.
SHOP BOTTEGA VENETA’S MOST POPULAR STYLES
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS COMMERCIAL, AFFILIATE LINKS.