Browse all

The success of @newbottega and the role of Instagram in the fashion industry

An interview with the mind behind the IG page that celebrates the work of Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta

The success of @newbottega and the role of Instagram in the fashion industry An interview with the mind behind the IG page that celebrates the work of Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta

The appointment of Daniel Lee as the new creative director of Bottega Veneta back in June 2018 marked the beginning of a new shining chapter in the history of the Italian fashion house that for years had relied on its woven leather accessories to maintain its established yet slightly dusty popularity. With it, there was also the suffered and debated Phoebe Philo's farewell from Céline, where Lee had previously worked for seven years as the director of ready-to-wear. Many found in Bottega Veneta that refined, sophisticated and minimal aesthetic that Hedi Slimane had partially erased. The achievements that Bottega Veneta was able to obtain in just a few months are remarkable, as demonstrated by the latest Lyst Inditex report that indicates the BV square pointed leather sandal as the hottest item of the moment

One of the platforms where the new Bottega Veneta met immediately the favour of an eclectic and transversal audience is Instagram, especially thanks to the @newbottega page. The mind hiding behind this profile, that now boasts more than 125k followers, is a young Italian fashion student, Laura Rossi, who was able to intercept and translate into images a specific aesthetic and a distinctive vibe that people were looking for. The popularity and the success of New Bottega ran parallel with the growth, both in terms of image and of sales, of Bottega Veneta, to the point that for its last Milan show Rossi was invited to the front row of the catwalk. 

Beyond this specific case, the results achieved by New Bottega must make us wonder about the role and the power of Instagram in today's fashion industry, even more, because we're not talking about influencer marketing or sponsored posts, but of simple mood boards nevertheless able to affect the fate of a fashion house. If pages like Old Celine are nothing but a nostalgic celebration of a period of time that will not come back, and for this a bit pointless in their nature, New Bottega represents a highly unique and original hybrid. 

We reached out to Laura to discover more about her vision if she minds the comparison with Old Celine and what she thinks the role of Instagram today is. Here's what she told us. 


#1 Were you familiar with the work of Daniel Lee even before his appointment at Bottega Veneta? Were you convinced of his success? 

No, I found out about him only after his appointment, as many of us I guess. What struck me was his past at Céline, at the time one of my favourite brands, and above all the interview he gave right after his new job was announced, where he explained his ideas for Bottega Veneta and more generally his vision. So yeah, I immediately had a good feeling about him, the feeling that it was the beginning of something exciting. The certainty came as soon as I saw the Pre-fall 2018 collection, the first under his direction. 


#2 How do you select the contents you post on your page? Do you know from the beginning which will perform better? 

I know when I've found a good pic as soon as I see it, but that doesn't mean that I post it right away. The campaigns, editorial and street style pictures that I publish often come from secondary websites, but for the major part, everything comes from Instagram itself. I look through the dedicated hashtags and every day I get tagged in hundreds of new posts, which makes it easier. I hate to take screenshots, so I usually DM the user asking for the pic via mail, so that it doesn't lose quality. I save everything in an album and I publish when I think it's time. Regarding the content, there's always a type of post that according to the figures is the one that performs best, in terms of engagement. Of course, I publish a lot of that kind of pics. There are also other types, that even though don't have the same success I keep posting with the same regularity, despite Instagram Analytics usually devise me. Even though they don't have a strong impact I think they work well in the general look and perception of the page. 

#3 What is your audience like? Is it mostly Millennial or does it welcome different age ranges?

It's mainly made of Millennial users, above all women between 25 and 35. But there's also a good part of Generation X and teenagers. 

#4 The comparison with Old Celine and with that nostalgic post-Phoebe Philo era trend is something that bothers you or do you see any similarities? 

Yes and no. I myself got interested in BV and in Lee's appointment because of his past at Céline and for possible common points between his vision and the old Céline, but I think it's wrong to say that the old Céline is the new Bottega, which you can read a lot online. Bottega Veneta is the new Bottega, Céline is the old Céline. There's no reason why they should depend on each other, I think there's enough room for both in our hearts and closets. 

#5 In your opinion, can IG profiles dedicated to specific brands actively affect the narrative and the perception of that brand? 

Definitely. Even though they don't use images of a real person like the so-called influencers, I think they can be a great source of exposure for the brand, above all if they have a big following and can, therefore, reach a huge number of people. 

#6 How would you define your relationship with Bottega Veneta now? Do you feel a kind of responsibility towards the brand? 

It's definitely a good relationship, in these cases, it's always nice to know to have a kind of approval from the brand. I've always had a kind of sense of responsibility because often my account gets mistaken for the official one of the brand and many people come up to me thinking of speaking to someone representative of the brand, someone for assistance, some others for info about the items, others for collaborations and so on. I always try to answer making clear the nature and the intentions of my account, but as my page bears the name of BV and it's dedicated to it, what I post will always affect the perception of the brand. 


#7 Is the unprecedented success of Bottega Veneta the cause or the consequence of New Bottega's popularity? 

The design is what makes Bottega Veneta successful as a brand and it's for it that the brand is judged when a collection is presented on the catwalk or when a customer decides to purchase an item. In this sense, the role of New Bottega is basically non-existent. I think that the account was more impactful in terms of communication and definition of an aesthetic for the lovers of the brand. Its following is made not only of BV enthusiasts but also of people who are keen on the vibes to which the brand is associated and that I try to convey in my feed. It's not always easy because not every content fits in that aesthetic. I like to think as Bottega Veneta and New Bottega as two different flowers in the same field, sharing the same ground and the same light but at the end of the today each one is responsible for its own growth. 

#8 What must be the role of Instagram in today's fashion industry? 

It's a question I struggle to find an answer to because although I love fashion and I use Instagram a lot, I think that social media have ruined a great part of it, as most of the times it's used in the wrong way. It's a shame because Instagram is a powerful means and if used well can contribute to the magic of fashion. It should spark curiosity through its contents and at the same time provide new ways to communicate with the audience, but without revealing too much in my opinion. Although the sharing of the creative process, behind-the-scenes and this type of content can draw attention and can even be demanded by the audience, I think that most of the times it can be a disservice to the brands as it leaves no curiosity and imagination, pushing away the audience instead of bringing it closer. This is exactly one of the main reasons why I love BV: despite social media and all that, it was able to maintain a good dose of mystery and sense of exclusivity. 


#9 Do you have a detailed plan in mind for New Bottega? Will it continue to be a kind of inspirational mood board or will it turn into something different? 

No detailed plan, at least for the near future. Given that it's fashion - and Instagram - it's important to keep up, but at the moment I'm not planning to change anything, besides this is the type of content people follow New Bottega for. I would consider changing it only if the current posts started to bore, but I'm not worried. At the end of the day, it's only fashion, and there's a new one every season.