I recently went shopping at my favorite outlet mall “Desert Hills Premium Outlets” in Cabazon, California near Palm Springs. There are many premium designer stores in the mall, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Tahari, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Loro Piana, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s, Versace, Saint Laurent Paris and Bottega Veneta.
I purchased a new bag from Bottega Veneta called Capri bag. This is an outlet style Capri bag from Bottega Veneta. Many of the premium designers have special design for outlet store only. I am going to share with you what I have learned from my sales person at Bottega Veneta boutique store.
Bottega Veneta’s philosophy is “your own initial is enough” therefore, no logo will be found on the external part of the bag. There are four cornerstones about Bottega Veneta: 1. Quality materials; 2. Artisan and craftsmanship; 3. Contemporary functionality; and 4. Timeless design.
All leather is dyed with mineral powder, no chemicals are used. Each bag is hand weaved by one artisan from the beginning till the end, it is like knitting, so only one person can work on a bag at a time. It takes about one day to make one bag and therefore, quantities are very limited.
This Capri bag is made of lamb skin. The longer you use this bag, the softer and shiner the leather is going to get as time goes by. It will feel almost like butter; soft and velvety.
You will find a circle saying “BV” on the inside of this bag, which specify that this is an outlet store exclusive style.
Also another important thing about BV bag is that they are all made seamless. So there are only a few of the bag that have seams and are assembled with a few pieces of weaved leather. BV calls it a “weave” in English, but in Italian it’s called “intrecciato”.
Bottega Veneta in English means workshop in Veneta. They go by special romantic names of the bags color every season. They call black Nero which is one of the classic Bottege Veneta colors. Ebano or brown, is also a signature color that represents Bottega Veneta. Also the difference between the outlet exclusive and store version is that, the lining inside each bag is made of canvas, whereas the store version is all made in pig suede.
To differentiate between an authentic and imitation BV bag: each full piece of leather is soaked in dye and then air dried before it is place in a machine that cuts the leather into strips.
Each strip is called fatuche. The artisan will weave the fatuche into the bandina. So if you pay attention, you will be able to distinguish the fatuche and bandina, and you will be able to see the colors are clearly dyed through. Many imitation BV bags have the color sprayed on the surface of the leather, but the inside of the leather is still in original skin color.
The second way to tell the difference of a real bag is the proportion. I have seen some really well made imitation bags but they are always missing a little bit here and there. Third way is the hardware. This is really important to know that BV make their own hardware and they do not outsource . Therefore, you will know the bag is an imitation if the hardware is named YKK. Fourth, there is always a serial number inside the bag on the suede lining. Nevertheless, even the bag from the outlet store with the special logo is extremely nice and an authentic Bottega Veneta bag. If you are in the Southern California area, you should check out their store at the Cabazon Outlets. Here is my video featuring Cabazon.