In fashion, no two brands are the same. However, it’s only natural that critics should draw comparisons between labels, particularly those which regularly find themselves under fashion’s spotlight.
Two such labels which we here at PurseBop believe have a strong liking to one another are Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus. Just to be clear, we’re not proposing that Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus are exactly the same, or that you can only take a liking to one, but simply that there are similarities between the two. And with designers constantly competing for a space in bag lovers’ closets, it wouldn’t hurt for purse aficionados to pick a favorite out of these two brands!
Both Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus have risen to prominence in recent years. Each have transformed from relatively inconsequential labels to fashion industry megabrands in a shockingly short amount of time. Each have managed to produce ‘It’ bags with cult-followings – a hard feat in fashion’s current climate when it seems as if an ‘It’ bag wannabe is released every week! And, perhaps crucially, both have scored big with their sleek and understated luxury aesthetic which goes against the overtly flashy and logo-clad look of many other popular brands.
Jacquemus’ rise to fashion’s A-list has been a whirlwind. Simon Porte Jacquemus started his eponymous label in 2009 after dropping out of fashion school in Paris. He quickly began to get noticed for his minimalistic and polished designs.
Bottega Veneta, on the other hand, has a much longer history. Founded in 1966 in Vicenza, Italy by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro, the fashion house centered around creating quality leather goods. From the beginning, the house established its now signature minimalist aesthetic and used the advertising slogan, “When your own initials are enough”. Bottega Veneta enjoyed great success during these years, even garnering celebrity fans such as Andy Warhol.
But the brand’s popularity began to decline during the ‘90s. Whilst other fashion houses were enjoying a successful fashion decade, Bottega Veneta found itself slipping into obsoleteness.
In 2001, the Gucci Group acquired the house and Bottega Veneta slowly began to gain traction once more. But it wasn’t until the appointment of Daniel Lee as creative director in the summer of 2018 that the brand’s comeback was kicked into overdrive. Lee’s unmistakable clean-cut aesthetic was dubbed the “New” Bottega Veneta and focused on returning the brand to the essential. Lee has proved a master at incorporating the house’s signature Intrecciato Weave, first introduced in the early ‘70s, into his new bag designs.
A prominent aspect of both brands’ rise, or in Bottega Veneta’s case, re-rise, to fashion stardom is social media. Both Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus have proved popular amongst the influencer set and their new bags regularly begin trending as soon as they are released. At the start of 2021, Bottega Veneta sent the fashion world into a frenzy when, without warning or explanation, it shut down all of its social media accounts. Rumors began circling about whether the move was a tactical powerplay. The reasons behind the brand abruptly closing its social media are still unclear. However, it certainly provided the house with an abundance of free publicity.
Despite clear similarities between the brands, their bags are very distinctive from one another. Let’s take a look at four signature bags from each!
If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll recognize the bag. Bottega Veneta’s The Pouch made fashion headlines in 2019 as the handbag hit of the season. Its unstructured shape and distinctive style set it apart and the bag quickly proved to be a must-have. No flashy logos or branding were needed because, shortly after its release, every fashion follower on the planet knew that Bottega Veneta was the house behind this pouch gem. It remains one of Daniel Lee’s greatest design accomplishments for the house to date.
Another fan favorite, the Jodie bag was originally released in the ‘90s but the house revived the design last year. The Jodie’s hobo style and use of Bottega Veneta’s famous Intrecciato Weave has helped it become a house staple. The bag reportedly got its name after actress Jodie Foster was photographed using the style to shield herself from paparazzi. The Jodie has since been released in several different sizes and the smaller versions of the bag have proved the most covetable. Similar to The Pouch, the Jodie bag is unbranded and the sleek design speaks for itself.
The Cassette bag is yet another ‘It’ bag which Lee has designed for the house (you can see why he’s such a big deal in fashion circles). The rectangular crossbody style features a maxi version of the classic Intrecciato Weave and the bag has become known for its functionality and versatility. The original Cassette bag was first released as part of the house’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection. Owing to the bag’s popularity, Bottega Veneta has since released the, arguably more popular, Padded Cassette bag and Padded Chain Cassette style.
The newest Bottega Veneta design on this list, The Point was launched for Spring/Summer 2021. Like its forebearer The Pouch, The Point is an unstructured pouch-like bag. It sports a cut-out top handle and comes with a detachable shoulder/crossbody strap. It hasn’t quite reached the same level of success as its predecessors but since the house is routinely releasing the design in new colors and materials, that could change.
Heading up team Jacquemus is the Le Chiquito bag. If there was ever a truly collectable ‘It’ bag – this is it. Launched for Fall/Winter 2017, the Le Chiquito encapsulated and helped propel the mini bag trend unlike any other design. It has since been reinterpreted in many different sizes, including an adorable (and useless) micro version. The bag even appears in Jacquemus’ new Fall/Winter 2021 collection with a shearling trim! The Le Chiquito has gone down in history as the bag which put Jacquemus on the map and the fashion world will certainly not forget this small (but mighty) style anytime soon.
Boasting a similar structured top handle look to the Le Chiquito, the Le Bambino also scores style points for its covetability. It also features a flap opening but with a leather tab. The bag is rectangular in shape and sports a single sleek top handle. Commonly worn crossbody, the bag is a no fuss everyday style. In true Jacquemus style, it’s also very small. But it is available in a range of sizes so you’ll be able to find one which can carry more than your AirPods, if that is what you desire.
La Boîte À Gateaux Top Handle Bag
Oh la la, this bag will make you want to move to Paris, pack a picnic, read a Jane Austin novel and run through a lavender field all at once! Small, structured and top handle – noticing a pattern yet? The La Boîte À Gateaux top handle bag is a cylindrical style with a flat lid opening. The bag comes with a detachable shoulder strap however is still not the most functional (but, in fairness, few Jacquemus designs are).
Carinu Shoulder Bag
The Jacquemus Carinu shoulder bag is an ultra-minimalistic take on the classic shoulder bag style. While many brands chose to cover their shoulder bags in prominent monogram patterns, Jacquemus opted for a simple shoulder bag with a flap opening and the Jacquemus name discreetly adorned in gold lettering. The bag’s thick shoulder strap is what sets it apart from its competitors. The Carinu is new for Fall/Winter 2021 and has a good chance of becoming every fashionista’s latest Jacquemus must-have.
So the question is … can you pick a side?