Images from left: This is not the actual material but made lots of partial samples / Various parts at the metal factory / During the factory tour. Interesting to see different factories / An amazing exhibition in Venice where IUAV was involved / A famous market in Padova where I was told there would be a fabric stand / I bought three kinds of materials. They all have more shine than they look in the pictures / Burano Island in Venice, famous for laces. The scenery was amazing as well / Via Montenapoleone where the Bottega Veneta store is / I brought all of my tools so that I can continue my bag production / I needed ribbons as well so went to look for them myself.
Only a month left of this program and all the classes have switched to workshops where each student creates their own pieces. The design and how many bags we are to create should be decided by now, and samples already made with only the actual final piece waiting to be produced. This is the best scenario but the reality is not that simple, as it really takes a lot of time to find the right materials. Last week, I went to Padova just to go to look for the right material for the lining.
Also, the design is not yet perfect, and it’s my goal to finalize it within this week. The sketch is finished, but because its construction is complicated and it doesn’t end up like I imagined in my sketches, problems come up one after another which troubles me. To be honest, I wish that I could concentrate in a short period of time to finish one particular design, but this doesn’t usually work this out.
I don’t want to just finish this course. No matter how rushed I feel due to the little time left, I don’t want to give up till the very end, and make the best of what I have now. It’s difficult to always be motivated but when you come up for air and realize that you’re in Italy, with so many exciting things around, you feel reenergized in a minute.
Despite the busy days, I was in Milan from Tuesday to Friday this week. I will be participating in a shop training at the Bottega Veneta store on the famous Via Montenapolene, where all the luxury brand shops are.
All the students in the course are assigned to take training in either stores in Vicenza, Florence, or Milan. We, the three Japanese students, are in the Milan store this week. We don’t actually attend the customers but is learning in detail about bags, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories rooted in the Bottega Veneta philosophy, not just about the products but how to manage stock or the techniques and manners involved in attending customers, and “how to sell.” Without a doubt, this is an amazing program.
I was nervous at first, not knowing what to expect, but after actually taking the training, every one of the store staff were really kind and passionate in teaching us. On top of all, I was moved by how they truly respected and loved Bottega Veneta and all its products.
In class, each of us designs and creates by ourselves, so it’s natural that designs become very personal. That’s one way and definitely has my personal passion and thought into it, but I learned that the mutual passion and respect at large, such as the designers, sale staff and everyone involved is equally important.
Living abroad is exciting enough for me, but to be able to experience so many different things within this program, and to meet wonderful people with different specialties of their own, makes me realize, even after two months, that I am truly blessed to be here.
Since I’m in Milan, I plan to learn as much as possible at the store training and to see the city as well. Then, make the last effort to finish my bag production next week.