When Bottega Veneta opened its first boutique outside Italy on New York’s Madison Avenue in 1972, few Italian luxury brands populated the now-iconic shopping street. After closing its Manhattan store on Fifth Avenue in 2015 and moving into a temporary location until last month, the heritage brand is having a kind of homecoming: a new outpost opens at 740 Madison Avenue today, coinciding with a one-time stint at New York Fashion Week, where Bottega Veneta will show its fall/winter 2018 men’s and womenswear collections to mark the occasion.
The New York store—its largest to date and the third created under the “Maison” concept, in which the shop’s architecture and interior reflects its location—was designed by creative director Tomas Maier to reflect a sense of place. “The idea of provenance is so important in the world of Bottega Veneta,” says Maier, who also designed the house’s Milan and Beverly Hills Maisons. “The brand comes from a specific place—a geographic location that tells you a story.” The 15,000-square-foot shop is composed of three landmarked 19th-century townhouses, which were gut-renovated to create a seamless interior experience. Metallic details including brushed-brass ceilings and metal display cubes complement a winding concrete-and-glass staircase; with the ground floor’s gray-and-beige palette, the connection to New York’s built environment rings loud and clear.
Ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, watches, fragrances, and jewelry are spread throughout five floors, the topmost of which is aptly named the Apartment, where Bottega Veneta’s furniture and home collections mimic a real living space. Filled with books, sculpture, and paintings hand-picked by Maier, the floor doubles as a private event or shopping space, complete with hidden fitting rooms. The latest of its home collection, released every two years, will be unveiled in April during the Salone del Mobile furniture fair and will be available exclusively at the Madison Avenue shop at a later date.
The space allows visitors to access Bottega Veneta’s entire product range—an option that didn’t exist in the U.S. until now. “Even in a digitally focused world, there are still some places you have to visit in real life to experience the complete vision of a brand,” Maier says. “For our customer, this will be one of them.”