Bottega Veneta unveiled three winning designs of the student design competition it sponsored in collaboration with the University of Tokyo at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan last week. “This was an especially inspiring Salone del Mobile for Bottega Veneta,” said Creative Director Tomas Maier. “We wanted to shift the perspective a bit, to explore new ways of looking at design by bringing together design and craft from Japan with our own new designs and the extraordinary work of our student competition winners.” The competition challenge, which was presented to students in early October, was to design a piece of furniture that served a function for someone seated, taking into account Bottega Veneta’s traditions of quality, timeless design, and hand-craftsmanship. Each student had the opportunity to present his or her initial sketches and ideas in person to Bottega Veneta Creative Director Tomas Maier, who flew to Tokyo specifically for the design review. The three winners Kentaro Fujimoto, Ayami Takada, and Shima Suzuki, were announced and flown to Bottega Veneta’s atelier in Vicenza in January, where they were able to inspect the design prototypes being built for them before presenting them at Salone del Mobile. The designs are available for special order through the Bottega Veneta stores worldwide and will be on display in Ginza later this year. Bottega Veneta's presentation also included an exposition of Japanese crafts co-curated by Tomas Maier and Seiichi Kamei, editor in chief of Casa Brutus, as well as a pop-up store featuring items from Japan and special designs from Bottega Veneta. “I have long admired Japanese craftsmanship and design so it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be hosting a design competition together with the University of Tokyo,” said Creative Director Tomas Maier. “Bottega Veneta is deeply committed to both the traditions and the future possibilities of design and craftsmanship. The aim of the competition is to support these young designers and artists by enabling them to present their work to the widest possible audience. It’s inspiring to work with such talented individuals, and I have no doubt that the final designs will be both accomplished and innovative.” The company’s famous motto, “When your own initials are enough,” expresses a philosophy of individuality and confidence that now applies to a range of products including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, furniture, and more. Photo: Tube with Inner Luxury by Shima Suzuki
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