Tomas Maier is stepping down from his role as creative director at Bottega Veneta. Maier has been at the helm of the Italian label since 2001, when the brand was acquired by Gucci Group, now Kering, and he was personally appointed to the position by Tom Ford.
“It's largely due to Tomas’s high-level creative demands that Bottega Veneta became the house it is today,” said Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault in a statement. “He put it back on the luxury scene and made it an undisputed reference. With his creative vision, he magnificently showcased the expertise of the house’s artisans. I am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve.”
Pinault’s sentiments are far from exaggeration. Bottega Veneta, founded in 1966, had struggled to keep up with the late-’90s fashion race, and after a short-lived revival at the hands of Katie Grand and Giles Deacon, the label was struggling. When Maier joined in 2001, he worked diligently on the brand’s signature accessories, waiting until 2005 to present a ready-to-wear collection. Once he did, his men’s and women’s shows became tentpoles of Milan Fashion Week for their cerebral, refined takes on contemporary trends. In February, the brand combined its men’s and women’s Fall 2018 collections into a single show, presented in the former New York Stock Exchange at New York Fashion Week. The company’s largest flagship opened on Madison Avenue that month.
Beyond the house’s ready-to-wear and accessories, Maier was also instrumental in the opening of La Scuola della Pelleteria, in Vicenza in 2006. The trade school specializes in Bottega Veneta’s signature intrecciato woven leather technique.
Outside of his commitments at Bottega Veneta, Maier maintains an eponymous brand of womenswear, menswear, and eyewear (which is partially owned by Kering) and is famed in the fashion community for his eye for architecture and interior design. (The child of architects, Maier owns homes around the world, most notably in Palm Beach, New York, and on an island off the coast of Maine.) Prior to joining Bottega Veneta, Maier worked in design roles at Guy Laroche, Sonia Rykiel, Revillon, and Hermès.
The news of Maier’s departure comes as the Spring 2019 menswear season is heating up. Who might succeed Maier at the Italian brand will be the talk of the front rows when the Milan collections start this Friday. For its part, Kering has not commented on when a new creative director will be named.