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The controversy over Bottega Veneta's jewels

A resin bead necklace costs up to €2500

The controversy over Bottega Veneta's jewels A resin bead necklace costs up to €2500

This morning, the moral watchdog of fashion, Diet Prada, showed the public a series of jewels produced by Bottega Veneta and sold at exorbitant prices: a necklace of braided beads (already sold-out on Matchesfashion) costs 2500€, a spiral choker reminiscent of the wire of a phone costs 1500€  but also a pendant in macramé from 980€. What do all these products have in common? They are incredibly similiar to cheaper plastic accessories, easily available on Etsy or Amazon for less than 20€, without really introducing huge design updates. 

One could wonder: «Did they use expensive materials?» And reading the composition of the products it might seem like this: the bead necklace is composed of resind and sterling silver (three necklace beads, assuming that the black beads between one flower and another are of resin and not of silver) woven with a simple fabric thread; the spiral necklace consists of 60% silver and 40% resin; finally there is a 30% silver in the last necklace in macramè and stone. There's only one problem: sterling silver's current prices are between 48 and 53 cents per gram, and a literal of pure sterling silver 925 costs a total of around €48. As far as resin is based, the price is between 6 and 10 cents per bead, depending on the quality. The macramè necklace is also composed of diasper and cubic zirconia: the first costs between 5€ and 15€ per carat; cubic zirconia, a gem that imitates diamonds, can, however, cost up to 90€ per carat in the most extreme cases, while between 15€ and 40€ for medium quality gems. 

This is not the first time that Bottega Veneta's jewels have ended up in the middle of a controversy: the stone pendants closed in a fabric nets that appeared in the brand's Resort 2021 collection were accused of plagiarism only a few months ago. Last August, the student of Central Saint Martins in London, Niccolò Pasqualetti told the internet about how Bottega Veneta had first asked him for the portfolio of his collection of macramè jewelry during an interview that ended in nothing – only to then make almost-identical braided jewels appear in the Resort 2021 collection. Diet Prada, which denounced the episode on August 11, also pointed out the heavy similarities between Bottega Veneta's jewelry and accessories and Elsa Peretti's designs for Tiffany in the 1970s.