All in favor of ghosting our socials in 2021? After a year like 2020, a social media cleanse might be the most necessary trend of the new year.
Over the past year, Bottega Veneta has become one of the biggest brands in the luxury world with the favorite Insta-worthy intrecciato bags littering our feeds. Yesterday morning, fans of the Italian brand quickly noticed that it had signed off for good deleting its Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, 2.5 million followers and counting seemingly vanished.
The bold move has left the fashion industry in a state of confusion. The after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the fashion world to become increasingly more digital as designers opt for 2-D methods to present their collections. These restrictions have bred a new form of creativity in displaying works, like Valentino and Burberry’s digital stores, Marc Jacobs‘ adapting Spring/Summer 2020 and Fall/Winter 2020 looks for characters on Animal Crossing New Horizons, and Balenciaga’s videogame Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow with characters flaunting the brand’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection. As brands work to create “phygital” experiences to market their product, Bottega Veneta’s disappearance couldn’t come at a stranger time.
Maintaining a low profile himself, Daniel Lee, the brand’s Creative Director, has no social media and has managed to elevate the brand into the public eye while also moving away from it. Previously, Lee worked under the former Creative Director of Celine, Phoebe Philo. A product of his teachings, Philo also kept a notoriously low profile in the fashion industry. During Lee’s time at Celine, the brand maintained its prestige status without offering e-commerce relying upon personal relationships and fans shopping at boutiques.
Perhaps, the house is simply rebranding in preparation to come back online with a whole new image. It’s possible that Bottega Veneta has removed themselves for social media to cause shockwaves through the fashion industry on purpose.
However, with fashion saturating the digital realm over the course of the past year, the house could be leading the return to more traditional routes of fashion consumption. Pre-dating the digital era, fashion relied on recommendations, runway shows, and magazines to display their work focusing client’s decision of purchase solely on meaningful recommendation and artfully designed visuals. This has been a successful method used in the digital age by the French luxury house Hermes. While the brand has active social media accounts, it opts for a more simplistic approach rather championing quality, heritage, craftsmanship, and exclusivity placing Hermes at a high status with their competitive list to attain a Birkin Bag.
Luxury is defined by artistry and exclusivity which is a step Lee has put forward by logging off. It allows for the brand to cultivate a more authentic fanbase since the brand has become a social media favorite. How does a brand get to keep its title of luxury when its products are overshared on social media? It’s a new formula of brand authenticity in the pandemic-era that Bottega Veneta is on to, setting the record on what it means to be luxurious and desirable in the digital age.
This comes to no surprise as Lee has not been a fan of the digital runway show. An invite-only of a small group of socially-distanced celebrities viewed the latest Spring/Summer 2021 collection “Salon 01 London,” at the Sadler’s Wells Theater in London. Yet the photos and videos of this upcoming season’s trends came from audience members. Proving how the brand is sustaining a reputable fanbase without a social media account.
Rather than Bottega Veneta telling us how to shop and wear their product with social media marketing, the power of pulling off a fashion statement returns to the consumer. Instead of a passive glance aimlessly scrolling on a device, the brand’s fans will pay more attention to their shop windows or a fashionista sporting a timeless pouch clutch. By going in the opposite direction, the brand has managed to push itself forward into a new concept in fashion.
So, is Bottega Veneta telling us we need to take our phones out of our faces? Maybe. But the brand is also setting a precedent for brands in the digital era urging us all to unplug. As with any trend, the more saturated it becomes, the more tastes begin to shift in the opposite direction.
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createdAt:Wed, 06 Jan 2021 14:46:40 +0000
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