Origins and success of Bottega Veneta directly from the founder

Origins and success of Bottega Veneta directly from the founder

Origins and success of Bottega Veneta told from somebody that lived them firsthand: Renzo Zengiaro founded the brand in 1966 in Vicenza with Michele Taddei. In its story, published on Il Giornale di Vicenza, many references to leather and intertwined work process are mentioned in the story, as they make up the distinguishing characteristic of the brand that in 2001 was sold to Gucci in 156 million US dollars.

Origins and success of Bottega Veneta

Renzo Zengiaro is 91 years old today. He was already working in the laboratory at 14: first in a sartorial lab, then at leather goods maker Vitali and later on Marisa. During the 50s, he started designing handbags of various dimensions and colors “with softer leather. Handbags were no longer a detached element but rather an item to wear and that can take many shapes” explains Renzo, who is involved in the activity of the leather goods manufacturer that at the time was employing over 100 people.

The birth of Bottega Veneta

At 34, the co-founder of Bottega Veneta decided to go out on his own. “With the son of one of the representatives that used to come to our company, a Padova-based individual of Neapolitan origins, Michele Taddei. We decide to open our very own laboratory”. It was 1966. “We didn’t know how to call ourselves, and so we thought of small neighborhood stores of the past, such as the laboratories of painters, artists, then Veneto. And so, Bottega Veneta was created”, says the entrepreneur from Vicenza. “We right away focused on high-quality products using kidskin and tassels. My partner knew a tannery in Naples that ended up giving us materials”, says Zengiaro.

The famous intertwine

The intertwined design was well liked in Japan and America and caused the success of the brand. In the 80s, the two partners no longer got along. The company continued working until 2001, when Gucci absorbed it. Renzo Zengiaro continued working in the leather goods segment, “for some Italian companies in the beginning and then for Spanish manufacturer Loewe”. He was invited to assist to the last fashion show of Bottega Veneta and “seeing boots made with intertwined leather once more was very joyous: the brand’s footprint remained the same”.

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