Part-time Palm Beach resident and Bottega Veneta guru, Tomas Maier takes a spiritual trek in search of art and architecture.
Tomas Maier, the creative director of Bottega Veneta since 2001, is credited with reinventing the Italian brand and returning it to its stealth place as the very pinnacle of luxury. He also oversees his own line, a U.S.-based designer brand which he founded in 1997, known for its swimwear, knits, and jersey with a simple, informal, and luxurious feel.
Maier, who was born in Germany on the edge of the Black Forest, was influenced, no doubt, by his father’s profession as an architect. In interviews, Maier frequently recalls spending time in his father’s office, looking at floor plans, when he was just six years old. “Architecture has inspired me all along,” he told the Financial Times. He also believes that the disciplines of architecture and fashion have much in common — “whether it’s respect for labor… or the need to have a very contemporary and rational idea,” he told FT.
It’s no wonder when he travels that he is most interested in the “art and the architecture,” and, additionally, “also seeing how people dress and live.”
His most recent travel diary is filled with the sights and sounds of Japan. “I went to Tokyo to tour mid-20th-century Japanese architecture in danger of being torn down, followed by a very spiritual trip to see the Benesse Art Site Naoshima. While he’s visited Tokyo many times, this was his first trip to Naoshima and Takamatsu, which, he says “are both particularly interesting for art and architecture lovers.”
While he now travels mostly for business — “it was exclusively for pleasure before I had to travel for business; now I prefer to stay home when my schedule allows” — he does have his favorite international destinations, which all have three things in common: notable art museums, architecture, and food. The cities? London, Vienna, Munich, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Milan, and Rome. “Oh, and Scandinavia — it is so beautiful there.”
Maier has a boutique in Via Mizner in Palm Beach and is a part time resident of Palm Beach. “What I love about Palm Beach is the air… getting off the plane and having the sea air hit you in the face is relaxing to me. Here, I am at home at the beach — barefoot and relaxed. I hope it stays like the small town that it is.”
When traveling, there are a few things he never leaves home without: