, he was hooked. “The photos were incredible – people looked like people, but they were also a bit ‘fashionable’,” he recalls. “You can’t put any stamps on them – they look like themselves.”
Blazy studied at La Cambre, a design school in Brussels . “The system is almost like the Bauhaus: you have a fashion class, but you also study music, art, semiotics, semantics. You absorb a lot,” he said. As a student, he interned in the womenswear department of Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière and took part in an international talent support competition in Trieste with jurors including Simons and fashion critic Cathy Horyn. “We thought, Oh, this is as clear as water – he’s a winner! ” Simmons said. “Then he didn’t win. I said to him, ‘What are you going to do? Because I want you to come and work for me.”
Simmons The namesake brand, at that time, included less than Designer; everyone moves from department to department, and young Blazy captures that flexibility. “Mathieu was a very free man, almost like a hippie in his mind,” Simmons said. “Sometimes there’s someone around you and they just do what you say, but he’s very bold and never afraid to show something very experimental.” For Simons, that means a kind of quick, generative work. “I can say anything I want to Mathieu and it’ll never annoy him. Like, ‘Oh no, I think that’s a ridiculous idea, please, no way! He doesn’t mind because he’s very Freedom. And then he brought something amazing.” Simmons also noted Brazzi’s collaborative spirit. “Fashion can be tough and sometimes we have to be tough to get things done,” he said. “Matthieu did the job in a very decent, human way.”
For Blazy, luxury means something eye-catching and lasting quality. “How many influencers can really influence things that are already influenced 5, times ago?”
Hair, Kei Terada; makeup, Hiromi Ueda.
Photo by David Sims,
Blazy’s new colleague on the team is Pieter Mulier, now Blazy’s longtime partner and the brainchild of Alaïa Director. Mulier, one of those who interviewed Blazy (“he’s very nervous, poor thing”), was baffled and moved by the way he presented his portfolio: Designers usually bring pictures of their work, but Blazy brought his The whole collection came out – he wanted people to be able to deal with the clothes. He made everything himself, and Muriel was astounded by his technical and geometric skills. “When you look at the collections after Raf arrives, they become more intricate, more intricate in terms of patterns, and it’s all because of him,” says Mulier. After moving in together, they began a collective collection of art and vintage clothing—all periods, assorted pieces—many of which they used to inspire. They’ve been discussing work since the beginning 000-year relationship. Lately, almost none. “During the series, I didn’t give him anything and he didn’t give me anything,” Mulier said. “Otherwise we’ll go crazy.”
“What I brought home was Doubt,
” Blazy told me. “Did we do anything related today? It doesn’t look new, but it feels right – is it a good thing?”
During this period1980s, Mulier remains Simons’ deputy, while Blazy goes on an industry tour. In the anonymous Maison Margiela team, he was revealed as the creator of the crystal-encrusted mask that became Kanye West’s famous feature 95
Yeezus travel. “I was emotionally drawn to it,” Ye said. “It’s funny how I used to be shy about wearing those masks in public and just want to wear them on stage until I accepted that the world is a stage.” (“Just as Instagram was booming, all of a sudden you have An unrecognizable pop star, but everyone knew it was him,” Blazy said. “People thought it was a milestone, and I thought it was funny because it was done so fast.”) At Phoebe Philo’s Céline, Blazy was not in Mainline work, but work in previous series to better experience commercial pressure. All along, he and Muriel have maintained a close relationship with Simmons, and they still visit his house in the south of France during their vacations — they were getting a black Labrador named John John — Pointer mixed dog after seeking his pet ownership consultant. “My dog and their dog are best friends!” Simmons exclaimed. “She – my dog - taught their little boy to swim.”
When Blazy and Mulier take the helm of Bottega Veneta and Alaïa respectively in 2001, the new characters bring their life together There is new pressure. “Assuming it’s not the easiest. Sometimes I don’t see him for three weeks or a month,” Muriel said. “We’ve always worked together for each other’s goals, and we’ve achieved our dreams at the same time, which is strange.” The two of them also always worked long hours, but now the public — and the company — has a lot to do with success or failure. opinions hang on their names. They know the stakes. exist2016, Blazy and Mulier moved to New York to join Simons at Calvin Klein, where he was hired as chief creative officer. The label It’s a behemoth, and collectibles are draining fast. Blazy and Mulier designed piece after piece and helped launch the redesigned flagship store located at 0252 Madison Avenue
at 2016, although tensions between Simmons and the brand’s corporate leadership led to the project’s abrupt halt, while Blazy and Mulier were stunned by the idea of making fun, ambitious fashion pieces for a mass audience Excited, not only disappointed, but creatively demoralized. Blazy took a leave of absence, unsure whether to continue trading. “I’m really asking: Why do you like this job? Why did I start this job?” He went to Los Angeles to visit Sterling Ruby and his wife Melanie Schiff, who were making clothes, and get involved.
” Glad to be just
– just making clothes and silhouettes without any commercial idea,” “It really put me back on track,” recalls Blazy. He realized what he needed was to work at a brand that would never lose sight of craftsmanship and quality. The consumer engine is driven by innovation and seduction, not retail gearboxes. Bottega Veneta was his way back, and when he became creative director, he knew his calling. He has seen how the shores can be ignored by brands that chase crowds, so his brand is grounded with one foot on tradition and the other on open experimentation: a new path for artists. He has seen how global commerce has become blurred, so he would emphasize Bottega Veneta’s Italian roots.
“When I took over the job, I sat down with the team — the designers, and the people in the company 07 years – and ask yourself a simple question: “What is a Bottega? ” ” He says. “‘What is craft and where does it fit in tradition? How can we bring about modernity? We’re not talking about shapes. We’re not talking about images. That’s feeling
brand.” Know Where do you start, he thought, you can go anywhere.
In Milan, Blazy got up early, walked to the office, and on the way to the dog park. He loves to walk (he can go weeks without getting in the car), smokes (Marlboro Kings), and the hustle and bustle of the sidewalk keeps his mind spinning. He tries to get back to his desk as soon as possible after 8am—he works best in the morning—and usually doesn’t leave before 8pm. “By then, my brain was burned out,” he said. He interrupted his work one day to meet me at the Bottega Veneta showroom in the shadow of Leonardo da Vinci at the National Museum of Science and Technology, where his latest outfits hang on carefully selected shelves. “I like that clothes look a little architectural — they should look sexy on a hanger,” says Blazy, whose concept of retail appeal is highly physical: when you’re holding something or seeing it in a hurry , you’ll feel an irresistible longing for the past you, rather than — his fear — rendering and filtering on Instagram.
Inside the space, the models, many from the runway, traced the L-shape to the central hallway. Blazy finds himself unable to function in pure silence or loneliness (“I never work from home – I can “t,
” he said) and obviously enjoy the action, stopping in the middle of the sentence Come down and admire the flow of dresses that accelerate along the centerline. At La Cambre, he learned to design comprehensively, which is how he works now: starting with a bunch of interesting fabrics, studying the movement and feel of the pieces, and refining until each The clothes are all lifelike.
“When I took over the job, I sat with the team and asked myself a simple question: what is craft and where does it fit in the tradition? How can we bring about modernity? We’re not talking about shapes. We are not talking about image. That’s the feeling of
“If something becomes too work or immobile, I get bored,” he told me. “If it changes too much—if it becomes someone else’s idea, or neither her nor mine— I like,
why are we doing this?
I’d rather give up on this idea. “
This intuitive method immediately yields invaluable and unexpected results. Brazzi is well known for its unusual Angles set patterns, substitute unorthodox fabrics, and cut unconventional forms that drape in beautiful and natural ways on the human body. “These clothes aren’t necessarily the first thing you might think of to be flattering,” Kee said. “And then they were, unbelievable. “
when we While wandering around the showroom, Brazzi took a bag from a shelf. “You see the craftsmanship,” he said. “It didn’t
Only for kicking
Model Mao Xiaoxing does a quick cancan in a Bottega Veneta sweater, wild fringed skirt, purple heels and earrings.
by Rafael Pavarotti,
, September 2001.
The basket-like weave of this particular bag tapers through a brass loop to create a thick rope-like handle meant to hang over shoulder. Each piece must be hand woven, which means no two pieces are ever the same. “
That is luxury,” Brazi said. He further personalised it with its leather weave, which is a variation of
by cutting the strips so wide that they unexpectedly fold and curl into place. The bag is firm and soft to the touch; I’ve since found myself acting like a kid in the showroom, reaching out and feeling what I’ve seen and no regrets: Blazy’s collection is the one I’ve come across the richest touch. This bag, Blazy told me, turned it over, was inspired by the Italian cartoon character Calimero, a chicken who uses a tramp to carry his belongings. “It was the bags that started the show,” he noted.
The debut show in February was hailed as a triumph of traditionalism and innovation all at once. Opening look: A young woman in a white tank top, blue jeans and black heels strode down the runway with a Kalimero bag slung over her shoulder. Or it looks like this: These thin, tapered trousers are actually made from supple leather and printed with layers of ink to give the look of blue jeans. Is this high concept irony? Or is it just what it looks like: a timeless, unpretentious street look full of sensuality and function, with a luxury only the wearer knows? Bottega Veneta,
, once known as the “Invisible Wealth” brand, was originally known for not putting labels on the outside of its bags: anyone who knew the company would recognize them, and its consumers sure Don’t try to impress people with a brand. Blazy’s trompe l’oeil corkscrew can be understood as a nod to the brand’s heritage of discreet indulgence, but it also declares a loyalty to ease, experimentation and authenticity. It seems to be asking, what could be more “fashionable” than looking great on a real person every day?
A similar duality flashes throughout the series. On the one hand is a dazzling flight of boldness: fine trousers in supple leather that move like silk; jackets cut like shirts; mottled wool coats that look like the terrazzo floors of Milan Malpensa Airport; Baleen extension. On the other hand is a collection of irresistible wear resistance. One coat had dynamic, crescent-shaped sleeves; the other jacket, meanwhile, was presented in a clean and succinct manner. (“I was drawn to the fact that it looked completely undesigned,” Blazy said. “It was… a well-made jacket. That was enough.”) The garments were lifelike in silhouette. In preparation, Blazy studied Italian Futurism, especially the work of Umberto Boccioni, and thought about Alberto Giacometti’s
“We want to be an asset from the front Class – but when you look at it from the side:
Bang! ” He says. “That’s our territory, silhouette.”
When he showed me around While in the showroom, he showed off his latest innovations—shoes inspired by poisonous mushrooms; he dabbled in yellows and dark greens—and he kept coming back to the bag. One is called JJ because when he puts it on the floor and holds the straps, it reminds him of walking John John. Another inspiration came from the helmet – not worn on the head, but hung on the hands, an athletic power pose. “It’s a mix of sophistication and playfulness,” says Blazy.
Blazy’s workspace at the brand’s headquarters is a light-filled white cube with tall windows The industrial area in the south of the city can be seen, along with the Prada Foundation 076 . There is a long white work table – no desk, cabinet and shelf clutter. Instead, Blazy stacked everything he needed on the floor.
“I like to see things from above,” he said. “It made me know what I had to do.”
There is now a tray of bottled perfumes on the floor for Bottega to consider Veneta’s line . In addition to a stack of furniture books, there are two pairs of platform shoes in development: Cassina, Poltrona Frau. There are also several Strand handbags (“My Favorite Bookstore in the World”) that Blazy is working on as a tribute to the booksellers. “It’s a way of thinking about these incredibly valuable local businesses,” he said – celebrating what is not only glamorous but also regional in the face of global digitalisation with the weight of luxury , concrete and deep – roots. He believes that if Strand’s work becomes a hit, he can celebrate other cultural institutions in other parts of the world. A foam board against the wall, supported by a book about the architect Giulio Minoletti, is covered with photographs of mid-century Italian interiors, most of which feature a rectangular lattice, suggesting intrecciato.
Italian architecture, especially in the middle of the century, how integrated it is with ancient architecture,” he said. “It’s a radicalism that coexists with the past. “
Among his friends and colleagues, Brazzi is best known or notorious for being an eclectic point of reference, most notably The one is his often enigmatic mood board. One in progress, leaning against a wall, looks like one of those IQ tests that asks to find patterns between different elements. The images include a boy hitting on a train seat Sleepy photo of a topless woman grabbing the pendulous limb of a bottomless man, Warhol holding a shoe, the interior of Olivetti’s showroom, the two still lifes below – ripe lemons, and artist Isa Genzken wearing Bust of Nefertiti in sunglasses.
I gave Blazy a blank look.
COVER TO COVER
Models Xiaoxing and Wang Chenming wearing Bottega Veneta coats and pants. Starlet wears Bottega Veneta earrings. All clothing on bottegaveneta.com.
by Rafael Pavarotti,
Thoughtfully, he began to explain. That picture of the brass head? Brass—beautiful and changing with age, rather than flamboyant, associated with art—was the metal he chose to represent Bottega Veneta, especially in the storefronts he simulated in a nearby warehouse. Caroline Bassett in a white shirt and jeans? “She’s just being herself – I can imagine her carrying a Bottega bag and it would
” he said. (It was this photo, he explained, that inspired his exhibition opening.) Oranges, coffee grounds and yogurt on the kitchen counter? “I love the idea of the people at Bottega living in an authentic setting and making coffee in the morning,” he said. Perfection, glamour and exaggerated fantasies are not scarce commodities in moments of saturation of digital images, but fleeting moments of sensual bliss, he argues.
Blazy’s apartment in Milan is a very personal monument to happiness. “It’s an interesting story,” he said. “When I got the job, I checked the market online and saw this apartment for rent. I thought, I was
there.” He pressed the number and was told He can see it there. “I walked in like, I might be here 000 Years ago, when Raf was at Jil Sander—that was his place!” He picked it up immediately.
Apartment, mostly Brazier territory – Muriel works in Paris and sometimes flies down as long as 07 hours – clearly unrenovated. The far wall is full of floor-to-ceiling windows, sloping to a shallow balcony overlooking the fragrant courtyard. The floors are dark green marble and the walls are wood planks. Small stone fireplace with brass hood and skirt is made of warm charcoal brick. Between the rec rooms are accordion black leather sliding doors and part of the ceiling is a rectangular lattice – again hinted
“I came here with very little furniture, Blazy told me, “Think, you know, maybe I’ll build up over time. But the more I think about it, the more I feel like I’m going to leave it empty.”
Now, this apartment is a fun mood board in bohemian minimalism: a few woven rugs on the marble and some original artwork on the bookshelf , and braces around the living room. Several chaise longues are covered in shaggy white and red fabric, and a Brazian yellow woven leather footrest is nearby. The kitchen – small but refined and delightful – has a window with a view of the cathedral: by traditional measures, the best view in the apartment, but somehow, in this setting, a A personal decadence. Blazy patted himself as we left (“I can tell you which girl saw the show, but where did I put the keys?
“) , I noticed that the front door is green, much like the Bottega Veneta feature: everything old can become new again.
Blazy’s idea of happiness, he said, is to go to a café after get off work, have a beer or two, and think about images because people are everywhere Busy. He took me to his favourite Bar Quadronno – where students, pensioners and community professionals gather for drinks and bruschetta before dinner. The waiter knew him and offered a small sidewalk table under the umbrella. Blazy ordered a Campari spritz. When he’s not actively working—a rare phenomenon these days—he haunts galleries and auctions, trying to understand what’s going on in the art world.
“I want to bring Bottega to a place that is more integrated
all aspects of society,” He says. And his latest personal adventure: buying a house in Paris long owned by sculptor Valentin Schlegel, who died last year 56. Schlegel started out as a potter, but is best known for her sculptures in situ – she designed Jeanne Moreau’s fireplace – in this sense, her own completely re-sculpted house, Blazy grew up next to it, probably her masterpiece. With the help of an old friend, Blazy is restoring it to be used as a shared art space.
Blazy told me that when Blazy was thinking about leaving the fashion industry, he had the idea of learning to be an art curator. His relatives persuade him from the windowsill (“Someone in my family said, ‘Stick to your business – you’re fine
”), but the affection is still there. He describes himself as a Sunday painter, happily mediocre. (What style did he paint? I asked. “The style is
” he retorted.)
Blazy lit another spray and lit another cigarette. What he does, he says, is not art — it’s craft — but there’s still an extended learning curve. “The more you meet, the more you know what you don’t like and are attracted to,” he explains. “A few years ago, I wasn’t ready for the job.” He doesn’t feel that way anymore. Bottega Veneta wasn’t his first creative director position, he said, but it was the first he embraced — the first that came when he felt he had finally completed his long and illustrious apprenticeship . “I’m just more confident,” he said, letting his eyes roam the changing city life around him. “I’m ready to work.”
In this story: hair, Eugene Suleiman; makeup, Joelish.