Matthieu Blazy is making a major luxury imprint at Bottega Veneta. For his inaugural campaign, the fresh-faced creative director has 15 brand new bags, a cracking collaboration, an entertaining spectacle and grandiose imagery that works to burgeon creative relationships.

Featuring the floating city as the campaign’s backdrop – AKA Venice, Italy – Bottega descends upon the metropolis as it hosted the pinnacle of Venetian culture: the 59th Biennale di Venezia. Considering the fact that the name ‘Bottega Veneta’ quite literally translates to ‘Venetian Shop’, what better a place to kick things off than the label’s spiritual home? 

Arriving just in time for the festivities, Blazy’s old-meets-new ideology pervades this triumphant debut campaign with styling by i-D’s Alastair McKimm. Lensed by Malick Bodian, a Senegalese model and fledgling photographer, a grinning Dara Gueye takes centre stage, decked out head-to-toe in Blazy’s brand new innovative menswear: an Oxford shirt and pair of jeans, both actually made of leather. Captured by the canals of the San Geremia church, the luscious imagery is cast upon billboards between the flumes – on The Grand Canal, no less. 

In collaboration with the Pinault Collection, Bottega mobilised the campaign on Saturday with a star-studded dinner party that saw appearances from the likes of Julianne Moore, Tino Sehgal, Pieter Mulier and more, plus a programme of performances dubbed Dancing Studies. Inspired by the Bruce Nauman: Contropposto Studies exhibition currently showing at Punta della Dogana, the premier performer was Lenio Kaklea, an esteemed Grecian contemporary dancer and choreographer. 

What’s more, Bottega has launched a limited edition handbag collab with Venetian typewriter developer Olivetti with 15 woven options now available for purchase exclusively in stores across the cobblestone streets of Venice. Shot by Francois Halard, the handbags on display are perched amidst a mosaic of colourblock limestone at the Olivetti showroom which was architecturally designed by Carlo Scarpa. 

The label has also announced itself as the official partner of the Biennale Danza in July. Looks like it’s time to grab a gondola and get over to Venice because Bottega is taking over. 

Photography courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

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