Style Icons: Bottega Veneta's Lido Mule
Since his arrival at Bottega Veneta as Creative Director, Daniel Lee has been making some decidedly stylish choices. Case in point? The Pouch and Cassette bags, alongside a multitude of square-toed shoes like the Lido— a chic pair of mules with a character all their own, and featuring the flawless craftsmanship of the Vincente design house. Here, a closer look at the must-have slip-ons whose charm simply cannot be denied.
A well-loved model
If we can measure an accessory's success by the number of copies it generates, Bottega Veneta's Lido mule is perhaps one such prototype. Appearing for the first time in the Italian brand's 2020 Resort Collection, the instant-classic was immediately adopted by Instagram influencers, celebrities, and notable creatives alike. Rendered in supple leather, the nineties-esque mule with a reasonable heel and squared footbed stood out thanks to its braiding details, created using the brand's very own intrecciato method. A few months after its first presentation in September 2019, these pretty pumps were popping up everywhere, from fashion shows to Insta stories. Shopping platform Lyst even reported that the quilted version of the BV Lido had generated 27,000 monthly search-engine queries in the year's third trimester. These shoes have also withstood the test of time in a more global sense, illustrated by the rise in demand of 156% during the Spring-Summer 2020 season. The buzz points to the return of a look from yesteryear that today, once again, is the talk of the town.
BV's legendary craftsmanship
Since getting started at Bottega Veneta, Daniel Lee has demonstrated his enormous creative talent through his re-appropriations of the label's beloved signatures. Internationally-known for its high-quality leather goods, the brand is also to thank for the intrecciato weaving method — developed around 1972 — which is the secret behind their incredibly durable products. Equipped at the time with sewing machines that couldn't handle the thickness of certain pieces of leather, BV artisans realized that they could braid together soft materials in order to reinforce the final product in a way that didn't sacrifice elegance for ergonomics. The ingenious problem-solving tactic thus became an aesthetic marker, one that ensures both strength and style even today. Upon Daniel Lee's arrival, the idea came to him to reinterpret the technique in XXL on the Lido mule, one of the first pairs of shoes he imagined for the fashion house. The result? A sandal that's equal parts timeless and resolutely modern, the perfect antidote to the logo and sneaker craze gripping the industry.
A versatile essential
At once delicate and audacious, it would have been a shame to leave the Lido where it started. Now, they can be found in flat versions, boasting different heel heights, and in a host of high-octane hues. Several seasons after their release, these sassy shoes still have everyone's attention. So what's the secret? Part of the appeal is the ease with which they can be integrated into any wardrobe; plus, they're immediately recognizable to those in the know. Featuring a lightly crimped sole, there's a rebellious aftertaste on the design details that keep things interesting. Worn with a dress or a skirt, mini or midi, or with jeans or a simple pair of pants, these mules lend a hint of character to the entire outfit. Originally released in neutral tones, they've become available in candy- and highlighter-tones to suit even the most daring among us: yellow, orange, pale green, it's got Daniel Lee all over it.
For the Pre-Fall 2021 season, the British designer shoes to reinterpret these classics all over again, creating a version in quilted leather that's since been baptized the Rubber Lido. As far as we're concerned, you can never have too many remixes of a good thing.