By any yardstick, brand visibility is the touchstone of every sensible marketing strategy – even more so during these virus-laced days which have resulted in plunging global retail revenues.

Bottega Veneta, however, has long taken a contrarian approach, eschewing both flash and even a quotidian logo in favour of an understated almost opaque mood. And if its current pop-up installation slash boutique in Shanghai is anything to go by, the leather specialist is determined to literally amp up that opacity.

Located in the atrium floor of the behemoth Plaza 66 mall, The Invisible Store is a mesmerising conceit that feels like its one-part Doug Aitken’s ‘Mirage’ installations, and two-parts Inception.

Conceived specifically for Plaza 66 under the watchful eye of Bottega Veneta’s laureled creative director, Daniel Lee, the three metre high, 100 sq m cuboid is clad entirely in mirrors, its sheer surface effectively camouflaged by the seamless reflection of the atrium’s panoramic landscape of tent-pole luxury-brand tenants.

Where other brands fight for space and visibility, Bottega Veneta gives them the opportunity, with the Invisible Store, to reflect their logos on the pop-up, an arch self-aware meta gesture. This pop-up subverts the idea of perception, the tension between the seen and unseen and gives visibilty a new spin.

The tension is particularly evident inside the pop-up where the volume of white-on-white surfaces and mirrors, toying with light and space in a journey of optical illusion, dizzyingly displays choice pieces from Bottega’s pre-Fall 2020 men’s and women’s collections of bags, small leather goods, shoes, jewellery, eyewear and prêt-à-porter. §