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Tomas Maier: 'The It Bag Is A Totally Marketed Bullsh*t Crap'

First Posted: 12/30/2010 12:34 pm Updated: 05/25/2011 6:20 pm

Bottega Veneta designer Tomas Maier took The New Yorker into his world for the magazine's most recent issue. And Maier, maker of the brand's thousand-dollar, woven purses, made an interesting point about the state of accessories:

"The It Bag is a totally marketed bullshit crap," Maier told me. "You make a bag, you put all the components in it that you think could work, you send it out to a couple of celebrities, you get the paparazzi to shoot just when they walk out of their house. You sell that to the cheap tabloids, and you say in a magazine that there's a waiting list. And you run an ad campaign at the same time. I don't believe that's how you make something that's lasting--that becomes iconic as a design."

The New Yorker discussed the designer's childhood at length--Maier grew up in Pforzheim, Germany, learned to sew at a young age and "cultivates interests outside fashion." But don't go comparing him to Karl Lagerfeld:

He hates the cult of personality around designers like Lagerfeld ("Who cares how thin he is? Hasn't he reached a point in life where he can relax?"), and feels no affinity with Lagerfeld's acquisitive habits. "I'm not somebody who likes to possess," Maier said. "I'm not the person who has six hundred suits. I want to have two suits. Actually, I want to have one suit, and I replace it."

And along those lines:

[Maier] insisted that Bottega's goods were not beyond the reach of middle-class people, who have simply been trained to want too much stuff. Anyone, he said, could afford one five-hundred-and-fifty-dollar hand-painted cashmere scarf. "Just have less," he said.


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