Bottega Venetta: A Collaboration of Interpretations

Creative director Tomas Maier celebrates his "Art of Collaboration" project, launched in 2002, with a new book from Rizzoli.

When Tomas Maier landed at Bottega Veneta as creative director in 2001, he aimed to “create advertising campaigns that express a wider idea of creativity and craft, beyond the normal bounds of fashion.” Fourteen years and many seasons later, Maier’s collections have been shot by an impressive list of names: Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Juergen Teller, David Sims, and Alex Prager (this issue’s cover subject; see page 100 for our interview with her), to name a few. Bottega Veneta: Art Collaboration (Rizzoli), out this month, is a compilation of these partnerships, and features more than a thousand images of the Italian fashion house’s past campaigns. “I take great pleasure in discussing the collection and seeing what it provokes in [the artist],” Maier says. “I like to get the shot without any outside intervention, so that the result can be as pure as possible.” As a compendium, this purity reigns, highlighting the distinction in each creative partnership. The book, which also includes a foreword by Tim Blanks and essays by Daphne Merkin, speaks to the power of collaboration: Maier’s designs have become a means to express each artist’s explicit view and promote individual interpretation of a heritage brand. “It is clear to see the hand of those who have worked on the campaign,” Maier says, “and the different narratives that they have brought to it.”

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