The iconic Strand tote bag, which has long been an indicator of one’s knowledge and literary taste, or at least, telegraphing to the world that you have been to a bookstore once, is getting a high fashion makeover: Bottega Veneta is reworking the canvas totes into limited edition leather, creating a bag that will last as long as the Strand’s legendary 18 miles of books.
Being smart has always been fashionable, and now there’s a bag that’s as stylish as the covers of the TikTok-approved books you’ll bring home in it. The bag comes in three styles: one in classic black, another in Bottega’s signature Intrecciato weave, and another in a larger size that’s taxi cab yellow on the body and black on the sides, all with the Strand’s red and white logo front and center. The bags range from $1495 to $3100.
Along with the release comes a series of single-panel cartoons specially commissioned with The New Yorker to celebrate the legacy — and clout — of the Strand and its bags.
And because you need something to put in the bag, if you can still afford to do so after buying it, Bottega Veneta’s creative director Matthieu Blazy has also curated a selection of some of his favorite books – spanning from art and photography to fashion and architecture, available at The Strand until September 30.
Blazy is obsessed with The Strand, making it not just a his first stop on his trips to New York City, but “almost a motif that recurs throughout my life,” as he told The New York Times last week.
“It always reaffirms to me why physical books are so important,” he said. “It’s always a space of exploration with the constant pleasure of the unexpected and finding something new,” Blazy told Vogue, ahead of a celebration at the Strand. He describes his curated collection of book as “a mix of inspiration and books I always go back to.” He continued: “It was nice to be able to share those books I love and that are part of my creative process...Of course, some of these books I first discovered and bought at the Strand.”
The Strand x Bottega Veneta bags will be available exclusively at the Bottega Veneta Soho store starting September 8 and online starting September 15.