Fashion & Lifestyle

Bottega Veneta Opens Accademia Labor et Ingenium: A Beacon for Craftsmanship and Creativity

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A timeless touchstone of superior leatherwork and craftsmanship, Bottega Veneta has been a pinnacle of artisanship since its foundation in 1966. With its renowned ‘intrecciato’ leather weaving technique, the brand has built a legacy over the years. Under the inspired vision of creative director Matthieu Blazy, the brand continues to celebrate its rich lineage. Honoring this legacy, Bottega Veneta recently announced the inception of Accademia Labor et Ingenium, an academy epitomizing the essence of the traditional ‘bottega’, where mastery in artisanship passed through generations.

The Accademia Labor et Ingenium: Nurturing the Future

  • Location: Nestled between the iconic Bottega Veneta atelier in Montebello Vicentino and a specially designated area in Povolaro Dueville, the academy is positioned in the heart of the Veneto region, the birthplace of Bottega Veneta.
  • Mission: Translating to ‘Academy of Craft and Creativity’, Accademia Labor et Ingenium seeks to foster the brand’s core values. It serves as a lasting workshop, ensuring the perpetuation of craft and knowledge.
  • Program Structure: The academy aims to enroll 50 students annually. Unique to its proposition, it guarantees employment with Bottega Veneta upon successful course completion. These lessons will be imparted by a select group of five Bottega Veneta master artisans. Additionally, existing employees can benefit from upcycling and reskilling programs, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to continuous learning.
  • Collaborations: Rooted in the community, Accademia Labor et Ingenium has already established ties with regional partners. The collaboration seeks to accentuate the vibrant heritage of the Veneto region and champion the illustrious ‘Made in Italy’ ethos. A shining example of such collaborations is a ‘masterclass’ with Università Iuav di Venezia titled ‘The Artisanal Creative Process: Training Course in Bag Design & Product Development’. This masterclass, led by Ruggero Negretto, a revered figure at Bottega Veneta and part of the master artisan collective, showcases a commitment to passing on artisanal knowledge. This initiative is the fourth of its kind between Bottega Veneta and IUAV, following successful ventures in 2012, 2015, and 2017.

Voices from the Heart of Bottega Veneta

Ruggero Negretto, one of Bottega Veneta’s longest-serving employees, encapsulates the spirit of the brand and the academy. Reflecting on his journey, Negretto stated, “As a young apprentice at Bottega Veneta, I learned from the expertise, passion, and precision of more experienced artisans. It’s a great honor and responsibility to pass on this unique knowledge to a new generation and continue the great tradition of the bottega in all its community, creativity, and cultural heritage.”

Echoing this sentiment, Bottega Veneta CEO, Leo Rongone, emphasized, “Accademia Labor et Ingenium is a key strategic pillar to preserve Bottega Veneta’s unique savoir-faire. Exceptional craft and creativity are essential to our brand and to the heritage of our home region in Veneto. With the Accademia, we take the collective ethos at the heart of Bottega Veneta to a new level, building on our rich history of skill-sharing and innovation to nurture the artisans of the future.”

A Modern Interpretation of Time-Honored Traditions

As the global fashion industry undergoes rapid transformation, driven by technology and changing consumer demands, the role of traditional craftsmanship has never been more pivotal. Accademia Labor et Ingenium embodies this sentiment, juxtaposing the meticulous techniques of the past with the dynamic aspirations of the present.

  • Innovative Curricula: While the academy’s foundation rests on classical methods, it also introduces students to the latest technological advancements in leatherwork and design, ensuring they are equipped for the future of luxury fashion.
  • Sustainability: Recognizing the growing importance of eco-conscious practices, the academy incorporates lessons in upcycling, underscoring the brand’s commitment to sustainable fashion. By marrying the age-old artisanship with sustainable practices, Bottega Veneta aims to set a precedent for the luxury fashion industry.
  • Diverse Collaboration: Accademia Labor et Ingenium isn’t limited to leatherwork and design alone. By partnering with regional artisans, students get an immersive experience of the wider crafts of the Veneto region. From textile weaving to ceramic making, the academy provides a holistic view of Italian craftsmanship.

Looking Forward

With the establishment of Accademia Labor et Ingenium, Bottega Veneta underscores its commitment to preserving age-old craftsmanship while simultaneously shaping the future of luxury fashion. The academy is not just a testament to the brand’s dedication to craft but also a beacon for the next generation of artisans, ensuring that the art of the ‘bottega’ thrives in the modern age, forging a bridge between tradition and contemporary innovation.

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