History Of A Classic: Bottega Veneta's Knot
16 July 2018

History Of A Classic: Bottega Veneta’s Knot

Since Bottega Veneta Creative Director Tomas Maier recently left the House after 17 years at the creative helm, today’s edition of History of a Classic serves as a sort of tribute to the designer, or well, my tribute to him, as we take an in-depth look at one of the most iconic bags he ever created for the brand: the Knot. In fact, the Knot is so ingrained into Bottega’s DNA and so recognisable that Maier decided to turn it into an entire leather goods range. But first, let’s take a look at how it all began.

Bottega Veneta Butterfly Knot SS13
Butterfly Knot Spring/Summer 2013

When Maier first joined Bottega in 2001, he delved deep into Bottega’s archives. While doing so, he took particular interest in the House’s small, rounded box clutch from way back in 1978. He was so taken with this particular clutch, that he kept its shape, and gave it a new knot-shaped closure in leather and christened it the Knot, which made its runway debut as part of the Spring/Summer 2002 collectionalong with its elongated sister, known as the Stretch Knot.

Bottega Veneta Knot Stretch Knot FW12
Size Comparison: Knot vs Stretch Knot
Fall/Winter 2012

Ever since its introduction, the Knot has since made an appearance in all of the House’s seasonal collections. Despite this, this clutch is produced in extremely limited quantities, ranging from a maximum of 100, to as little as 25 of each. To date, the Knot has been reinterpreted in a multitude of ways, ranging from the Origami Knot in intricately creased patent leather; the Jardin Knot, crafted from leather blossoms, a Vintage Jewel Knot, embroidered with antique crystals; the Memory Knot in Nappa leather constructed with a metallic aluminium film that holds its shape to the touch (hence “memory”); the Enamelled Knot, with a contrast of the supple Nappa lining and its tough metal shell-like exterior; the Metal Lace Knot, made of 2 metal lace gussets encompassing a luxurious satin panel; and other variations woven in sterling silver, padded satin, soft crocodile, and the most luxurious of them all – one that’s woven in 18karat gold and finished with diamonds at each end of its closure. In fact, the bag has become so iconic that there Bottega held a dedicated Knot retrospective in St. Tropez in 2014, with over 300 of these bags on display.

Bottega Veneta Knot Cruise 2015
One of my favourite Knot clutches ever, from Cruise 2015

Loving the unfinished look here, from Cruise 2011Since it’s such a sought after piece, it’s also a bag that’s frequently copied, yet, none of them comes close to the original … but how could they, when Bottega itself is founded upon its signature intrecciato weave – an art that they have not only pioneered, but perfected to a “T”. Nonetheless, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”, isn’t it? ;D

The Knot is a one of Bottega Veneta’s signature pieces, offered each season in limited editions and quantities that make it a collector’s item, while always maintaining its iconic shape. Recognized and collected for its unique design, unrivalled quality and individual style, the Knot is a symbol of the company’s past as well as its future. For me personally, it is a continuous opportunity for a special kind of creative exploration ~ Tomas Maier~

Bottega Veneta Knot Group Shot Cruise 2011
Loving the unfinished look, Cruise 2011

Fast forward to 2017, Maier introduced a new compact shoulder bag with 3 roomy compartments with a satchel-esque feel, thanks to the buckles. Known as the City Knot, the bag still has the Knot as its defining characteristic, except this time around, it takes the form of a twist-lock clasp. Despite it being a day bag, it still remains connected to its roots and heritage. This day bag comes in 3 versions, all of which pay tribute to the original materials and textures from its original 1970s archives : French Calf leather either plain or combined with leopard print, and the shiny Capra Lissata featuring Bottega’s signature Butterfly motif. Though you might think it odd that the signature intrecciato is nowhere to be seen on this bag, take a closer look and you’d notice that the weave is actually there, but as a subtle engraved embellishment on the dark gold hardware of the buckles in Brunito.

Bottega Veneta City Knot FW18
City Knot Fall/Winter 2018
Bottega Veneta City Knot SS18
City Knot Spring/Summer 2018

After the City Knot, Maier began expanding the Knot family with each season. As you know, the Olimpia, named after the Olympic Theatre in Vincenza (Italy) designed by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, is one of Bottega’s classic models introduced as part of the Early Fall 2014 collection. The birth of the Olimpia Knot, was therefore essentially a fusion of both bags. Born in Early Fall 2017, the bag, like its predecessors, also has the twist-lock Knot closure, comes in Nappa Primus, which is an extremely soft  and natural-grained leather, combined with Miniponza embroidery, reminiscent of the intrecciato motif.

Bottega Veneta Olimpia Knot Spring/Summer 2018
Olimpia Knot Spring/Summer 2018
Bottega Veneta Olimpia Knot Fall/Winter 2017
Olimpia Knot Fall/Winter 2017

And then in Fall/Winter 2017, the Knot Clutch was born. Not to be confused with the original hard-cased evening bag, this clutch is much larger. With the same twist-lock closure as the City Knot and Olimpia Knot, the clutch comes with a detachable shoulder strap should you wish to carry it crossbody style.

Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch Cruise 18
Knot Clutch Cruise 2018
Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch Cruise 18
Knot Clutch Cruise 2018

The latest addition to the expanding Knot family, is the Chain Knotfor the Cruise 2018 season – Maier’s last Knot creation for the House. This also comes with a chain shoulder strap (not detachable)  for crossbody wear, which can also be tucked into the bag if you prefer to keep the bag nestled in the palm of your hand.

Bottega Veneta Chain Knot Cruise 2018
Chain Knot Cruise 2018
Bottega Veneta Chain Knot Spring/Summer 2018
Chain Knot Spring/Summer 2018


The original Knot is certainly one of my favourite pieces to date, and I believe that everyone should have at least one Knot in their collection. Now, with Maier having departed Bottega, and the Knot being one of his greatest and most memorable contributions to the House, here’s to hoping and praying that Daniel Lee lets the Knot live on. Who’s with me on this?

Images courtesy of Bottega Veneta