Design Maestro Gaetano Pesce Lends His Eye—and 400 New Chairs—to Bottega Veneta’s Runway Show

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It didn’t seem possible to make a seat at a Bottega Veneta show more covetable. But the Italian luxury brand rose to the challenge by enlisting the 82-year-old artist and design legend Gaetano Pesce to handle the scenography for the summer 2023 presentation in Milan on September 24. Pesce produced 400 chairs for the event, each unique, some with hand-drawn elements. And they came with a message.

“This space is a tribute to diversity. It is about the human being; we are all different,” said Pesce, who has foregrounded humanist principles throughout his multifaceted career, in a statement. “People who say we are all the same—fuck them! We are all different and this is our defining quality—otherwise, we are just a copy. We are all originals, and this is one of the themes of my design.”

Gaetano Pesce conjures a rainbow oasis in the vast Milan show space. Courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

Gaetano Pesce conjured a rainbow oasis in the vast Milan show space at the Fabbrica Orobia. Courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

He added, “Who makes culture today? The museum or the fashion company? It is food for the brain—not for pay. If we see the same thing each day, then we die.”

The chairs, a new design by Pesce, are fashioned out of cotton canvas dipped in colored resin and part of a collection called called “Come Stai?” They will be displayed (and available to purchase) in November at Design Miami. They are one component of Pesce’s site-specific Bottega Veneta set, which was akin to an enormous immersive art installation at the Fabbrica Orobia, a former factory space. A gleaming navy poured-resin floor featured a path of swirled pastel hues that served as the runway.

Kate Moss in summer 2023 BOTTEGA VENETA. Courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

Kate Moss wears a deceptively casual look. The denim and flannel are actually photorealistically printed nubuck. Courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

For his second outing with the house, creative director Matthieu Blazy sent out a procession of pitch-perfect looks. Many were deceptively casual. For instance, Kate Moss’s jeans-and-plaid-flannel outfit was actually trompe l’oeil printed leather. The sophisticated normie-luxe interplay culminated in dramatically plumed evening dresses. Blazy said he was inspired by Pesce’s theme of celebrating diversity. In a statement, he likened the collection to “the world in a small room.”

The stunning summer 23' finale. Courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

The stunning summer 2023 finale. Courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

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