His name is synonymous with fashion royalty, but the soft-spoken Corto Moltedo isn’t sitting on his family’s past glories. The scion of the luxury house Bottega Veneta, now a part of the Gucci group, has already launched a highly coveted line of super-exclusive bags, and is in the city to tempt the rich and famous.
Born and brought up in New York City, Moltedo shuttles between his atelier in Florence, his shop in the posh Palais Royale and the city of his birth. This indulgent lifestyle has helped him build a brand following that includes actresses Lindsay Lohan, Olga Kurylenko and singer Madonna.
Art and fashion
“I always wanted to pursue the creative arts,” he reveals. “And since my parents started Bottega Veneta, the conversation at home always revolved around designing.” Moltedo describes his designs as being very fresh and colourful, an aesthetic born out of being surrounded by people who wore black all the time.
“I think people who wear colour are a little more experimental and have great self-confidence,” he opines. “My client base is almost entirely made up of wealthy, eccentric people.”
And he’s not kidding. One bizarre bag request he received required him to make three almost identical evening bags out of rough silk with the clasp shaped like a cooking casserole.
The lady in question was part of a friendship club and wanted to gift her friends personalised evening bags. They cost her a cool 3000 Euros per bag. The most expensive bag he’s ever created was a 27,000-Euro diamond-encrusted evening bag for a Saudi Arabian client.
“These bags were created in collaboration with the customers, so it was less pressure on me,” he grins. “But I take more of a risk with my other pieces because I’m putting something out that I hope people will like.” Despite the hefty price tags on most of his pieces, Moltedo says, “It should be exclusive, but not so exclusive that nobody has them. Customers understand that we’re giving them a value product that is very exclusive and personal.”
His advice to men who are looking for a perfect gift for their wives: “Get her a clutch because women treat it like jewellery, so it’s trendy, convenient and will always be appreciated.”
When traveling with minaudieres (metal clutches, usually embellished) put them in boxes so that they don’t get dented. Treat them like jewellery and you will be able to increase their longevity.
When carrying cloth bags, spray them with a scratch guard spray before using them so that they become stain resistant.
Moltedo’s tongue-in-cheek tip for jewellery encrusted bags — hire a bodyguard.