Since taking over creative duties at Bottega Veneta in 2001, Tomas Maier has done such an exceptional job of restoring the label's relevance and developing it as one of parent company Kering's most consistently profitable luxury lifestyle brands that a lot of customer forgot that he had been running his own small but highly regarded swim and sportswear label since 1997. They will get a big reminder later this year when Maier opens his own boutique at 956 Madison Avenue between 75th and 76th Streets (pictured in the Google image above) with some new backing from Kering.
In an industry infamous for personalities that are outsized to a fault, Maier himself seems happier out of the spotlight. Up until this year, he has been content with shops for his own brand in seasonal, secondary markets like East Hampton, NY and Palm Beach, FL. His signature label has continued to operate quietly while he revamped Bottega Veneta, but now that the larger status brand has been so well reestablished, Maier will finally be ramping up his own, more casual brand with a new headquarters on East 57th Street featuring a broader assortment of sportswear, shoes and accessories for men and women —just don't expect any splashy runway shows or celebrity laden launch parties. “We don’t need one more fashion show, or an ad campaign for two years, only for it to then disappear, or the glitzy store with the glamorous opening party that closes six month later,” Maier tells WWD. “I don’t want any of that. I like it very professional, but also humble. I like the money being spent to go to the right place, and that is product development and the ways we can relate to wholesale and retail clients.” The expanded collection will still be made primarily in Italy and the E.U., but Maier promises to keep the prices reasonable. "A T-shirt for $285? That’s a little much," he says in perhaps an unintentional dig at his other job where staggering prices have become commonplace. For his own, expanded line prices are promised to be kept under $1000. As if to underscore Maier's low key approach, the store won't even be taking advantage of the seasonal Fashion Week press hype in September. Look for its doors to open a few weeks later in the calm of October, just as the resort collections thea Maier hs been so successful with start arriving on the racks.