Glorious Gucci and their stunning collections have graced the catwalk and I believe they are strong contenders as leading influencers in current fashion. They are one of the design brands that are dictating and determining our high street stores and the fashion offerings for the next season. Gucci, known as the Italian luxury brand of fashion and leather goods, is capturing our hearts and wallets at the moment. I see a little nod to Gucci wherever my style eye wanders whether that be the stores, magazines or blogger musings.
I absolutely bloody adore Gucci’s latest colours, textures and whimsical take on its traditional design archives. The past few years, the design label has come back under my style radar. My last breathtaking Gucci moment was the greatly celebrated Tom Ford era with the silk shirt and velvet trouser moment in 1996/97. But the latest creations from Alessandro Michele have been ticking my style boxes, left, right and centre. I don’t think I’m the only one either!
The History Behind The House Of Gucci
It was fascinating to find out the history behind the design label, that is now owned by the French holding company, Kering. The label was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence, 1921. Gucci was an immigrant hotel worker based in Paris and London. He was impressed by the luxurious luggage the guests would use. On his return to his hometown of Florence, known for its leather, artisans and craftsmanship, he established a shop selling fine leather goods. Later on, with the help of his 3 sons, Gucci expanded the company to include stores in Milan and Rome. They continued to sell finely crafted leather but branched out to feature; accessories, shoes, silks and knitwear. During World War II, with the restrictions using leather, the company made cotton canvas handbags. Gucci distinguished his creations with his signature double GG symbol prints on the canvas and used the, now infamous, red and green canvas bands for straps.
The company prospered and in the 60’s. It became the pinnacle of chic due to the style icons of that era; Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jackie Onassis, enjoying their Gucci goods. During the 70’s and 80’s however, they dealt with internal family disputes that brought Gucci on the near brink of disaster. So, with a dose of tax evasion from Aldo Gucci, the murder of Maurizio Gucci and then the conviction of his wife hiring his assassins. The Gucci family had a fair few things on their plate to deal with. The 90’s would be known as their poorest time in the company’s history as it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. A new vision needed to be brought in.
The Creative Directors That Saved The Label
The company brought in Dawn Mello (now president of Bergdorf Goodman) in 1989 to be the ready-to-wear designer and act as editor to save the flailing label. Mello then brought in Tom Ford in 1990 to design a ready to wear line. Following its success and the buzz Ford created, he was made creative director in 1994. Interestingly, Mello and Ford reduced the amount of items Gucci produced and moved the labels Head quarters from Milan back to its original roots of Florence. Tom Ford then departed from the group when his contract expired in April 2004. The Ford era is known to be one of the most celebrated turnarounds for a brand in fashion history. Nice one Tom!
Who remembers the velvet trousers and silk shirts that we all lusted after? Smouldering and gorgeous. I remember buying some black velvet trousers at the time that I wore with a satin shirt (no silk, I was still a young poor student!) but naturally, no high street came close to the fit and style of the glorious gucci velvet numbers.
Frida Giannini joined the Gucci group in 2002 and in 2005 was made the creative director for women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. Following this success in her appointment, in 2006, she also became the creative director for men’s ready-to-wear and the entire label. Giannini left the design house abruptly in 2014, just before her Fall’15 menswear presentation. No rumour has ever been confirmed as to the reason why and there are a ton of rumours out there!
Glorious Gucci and the future vision
Naturally with each creative director at the realm of Gucci, the brand has taken on a different and unique vision. Next post I will delve into the Guccis’ current creative director, Alessandro Michele, and his epic vision for the design house. So many stunning pieces from the Fall Winter’16 ready to wear collection on my lust list, that I spied on my recent visit to Gucci in Toronto. Off to buy a lottery ticket as this is far from a short list!
Ending with a Flic Pic and #WIW
A hotel mirror pic taken after a fab night out with a bloody good mate and a seriously yummy dinner at Frings restaurant in Toronto.
What I’m wearing: The Kooples Swallow silk shirt, Topshop black Baxter slim fit jeans, Lissa Bowie brass and silver thread earrings, black over-size Agate ring (gift from my Mum) and (kicked off shoes so no longer walking like a Gorilla) Zara black suede stiletto.