On January 5, the fashion world went into a frenzy when high fashion Italian brand, Bottega Veneta deleted all it’s social media accounts. The 2.5 million followers the brand had on Instagram, where shocked to search their account to find, “Sorry, this page is not available.” In a pandemic where most retail stores have been closed for nearly a year, social media has been a helpful tool for staying relevant. Items trending online leading to more and more online sales is the name of the game. So why would Bottega voluntarily leave this?
Although it’s a bold move, we can’t say we’re surprised. Under creative direction of Daniel Lee since October 2019, the brand has since taken a less in-your-face approach. Lee, who worked under the infamous private creative director of Celine, Phoebe Philo, is not a fan of social media. He’s been quoted in the New York Times, Vogue and other outlets describing his disdain for social platforms. His Spring 2021 collection that took place in London, where the designer is from, housed only a fraction of a typical runway show. In fact, Lee even banned guests from filming or sharing on social media ahead of the brand’s reveal. It appears he is focused on getting the brand to a small amount of high profile people who match the brand. And we think he’s on to something.
Bottega Veneta could be championing an old luxury brand tactic – mystery. Luxury, originally only passed down through word of mouth, used to have a sense of exclusivity to it. It was a members-only type of industry that was introduced to the masses with social media. Platforms like Instagram gave everyone access to everything. And if everyone knowns everything, you loose a lot of the lust, desire and mystery that luxury brands were derived from. We see Bottega’s move as a way to play hard to get to get what they want, exclusivity.
Deleting social media accounts also gives the brand the ultimate control of who hears about their collections and who is allowed to post about it. It keeps their aesthetic vision in tack by not allowing selfies, fake sponsored ads, and other user-generated content to pollute it’s DNA. When you see so much of a designer online, it takes away from the excitement and nearly makes you question why the brand is trying so hard to promote their collections. It will be interesting to see if the megabrand will find financial success without visage as a main selling point. Ultimately though, leaving social media and still getting people to want your clothes is a flex. And we’re into it. After all, everyone is talking about it.
Photo via Nacása & Partners Inc.