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Tomas Maier is to step down from his role as creative director of Bottega Veneta, the brand’s parent company, Kering, announced today. Maier was personally appointed to the position by Tom Ford in 2001, after the Italian house was acquired by Kering.
Over their 17-year collaboration, Maier has been instrumental in turning the house into the luxury name that we know today, working meticulously on the brand’s now-signature accessories line. Maier removed all visible logos from the products, returning Bottega Veneta to its original minimal identity but waited until 2005 to reveal his ready-to-wear vision for the fashion house. From there, feminine silhouettes and sophisticated tailoring followed to critical success.
"It's largely due to Tomas's high-level creative demands that Bottega Veneta became the House it is today. He put it back on the luxury scene and made it an undisputed reference,” said François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering in a statement. “With his creative vision, he magnificently showcased the expertise of the House’s artisans.”
Whilst Maier’s onus has been to produce clothes with enduring style that work for a certain kind of everyday woman, he has done so done so in such a way that brought the 52-year-old brand under a modern spotlight; nipped-in waists, knee-length skirts and flattering silk shirts all flowed on girls-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner in the Milan-based label's most recent shows.
Despite big-name models and an increase in sales, Maier never lost sight of the Bottega Veneta woman, positioning Lauren Hutton as the face of the brand for the spring/summer 2017 campaign that marked its 50th anniversary ("I make my clothes for women, not 16 years olds," he told in 2016).
The Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture graduate worked for a number of Parisian fashion houses, including Sonia Rykiel, Hermès and Guy Laroche, before launching his own label in 1997. He has maintained that alongside his work at Bottega Veneta and developed a reputuation for quiet luxury which has also seen him collaborate with Japanese high street retailer Uniqlo.
Under his tenure the German designer saw Bottega Veneta become Kering’s second largest label after Gucci, surpassing $1 billion in sales in 2012.
“I am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve," added Pinault.