Bottega Veneta’s Best Looks: The Understated Luxury of Tomas Maier (Photos)

A new book celebrates Tomas Maier’s gorgeous clothes and his patient revival of the storied fashion brand.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

Subtle Sophistication: Bottega Veneta's Luxurious Aesthetic

"Bottega Veneta," a new book from Rizzoli celebrating the gorgeous clothes of designer Tomas Maier, explores the fashion brand's sumptuous elegance and its commitment to Italy's artisanal heritage. Here, a classic look from the Fall 2010 ready-to-wear runway show in Milan.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

Maier, who has helmed the fashion house since 2001, is known for his beautiful dresses--often with a slightly raw or imperfect allure--that manage to convey both understatement and unabashed luxury.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

When Maier took over the leather goods firm in 2001, he started to methodically reinvent and reconstruct its reputation--first, with an elegant and expensive tote, the Cabat. It took six more years before he moved into making belts--a glacial pace in today's hyperactive fashion world, but one that has paid off richly.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

The Cabat bag--hand-woven, structured yet without a frame, unisex and multifunctional, with no logo and an eye-popping price tag--was Maier's first big success.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

"It's not about trends and it's not about disposal," Maier says. "You shouldn't be betrayed by the product. You should have a pair of shoes for a long time."

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

The luxury edition of the "Bottega Veneta" book--sold exclusively in Bottega Veneta boutiques--comes slipcased in "intrecciato" leather, the intricate weaving technique that is a signature of the brand.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

"The book is a kind of declaration about the tight relationship between designers and artisans," says Maier, who works closely with Italy's best craftspeople on everything from leather goods to Bottega Veneta's jewelry line.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

An outfit from the Men's Fall 2012 collection shows off Bottega Veneta at its sophisticated best. Maier believes that men and women should buy less--but buy better.

Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

Maier studied fashion in Paris, then worked as a freelance designer at companies such as Sonia Rykiel and Hermes before he was hired by Bottega Veneta. As a boy, he spent a great deal of time watching his architect father slowly and painstakingly construct a building--work that came in handy when it came time to resurrect the fashion brand.