Gucci e Gelato

“Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.”

So far what would be the two things that I love the most about being in Florence? The Gucci Museum and Italian Gelato. An admirer for both Gucci handbags and good quality ice cream, if you know me that is the perfect attraction for me in Florence. Let’s just put aside for now the beautiful art and architecture that the city is also famous for.

Gucci has to be my favourite Italian luxury brand. Gucci’s mix of innovative audacity and legendary Italian quality and craftsmanship, from the shoes and bags to the gorgeous evening dresses, Gucci appeals to me, every season. It is only fitting that the Gucci Museum is located in the beautiful, historic Piazza Signoria, which is in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The square is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city.

The large museum projects Gucci’s significant 90 year history, from its beginnings in the 14th Century, when founder Guccio Gucci made his name as a transmitter of the finest quality leather accessories, to its present day status as one of the world’s leading luxury goods brands. The Palazzo della Mercanzia, was originally established to support the trade guilds of the past, serving the city’s cloth importers, wool manufacturers and silk weavers. The Palazzo became a powerful administrative base that did much to promote Florence’s emergence as one of the leading commercial and cultural centers of Renaissance Europe. Now home to Gucci, this reflects the craftsmanship and authenticity of Florentine art.

Bamboo

The original Gucci Bamboo bag was first created in 1947. It was a small constructed handbag crafted in pigskin with a curved bamboo handle, which became an iconic example of the insight of Gucci’s craftsmen who were to invent clever solutions to wartime rationing of materials. The Bamboo cane, which was still imported from Japan, was heated and bent into a semi-circle, and affixed as a decorative handle on the pebbled pigskin body. The design was innovative and stylistically distinctive and is still a hit today. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, the Gucci Bamboo bag was worn by countless international celebrities, sealing its future fate as one of Gucci’s most beloved and successful handbag creations. Until today, the construction of the bag is made with the same technique and requires 13 hours of craftsmanship to guarantee the perfection of the details and is one of Gucci’s most iconic products.

1920’s

In 1921, Guccio Gucci opened a leather good company and small luggage store in his native Florence. His vision of the brand was inspired by London, and the refined aesthetic of the English nobility, he had witnessed while working in the Savoy Hotel. His goal onreturning to Italy was to ally this classy sensibility with the unique skills of his native Italy, specifically with the master craftsmanship of local Tuscan artisans.

Over the years the label enjoyed success that sophisticated international clientele in Florence lusted over the equestrian-inspired collection of bags, trunks, gloves, shoes and belts. Many of Gucci’s Italian clients were local horse-riding aristocrats and their demand for riding gear led Gucci to develop its unique Horsebit icon: an enduring symbol of the fashion house and its increasingly innovative design aesthetic.

During the difficult years of Fascist dictatorship in Italy, which led to the shortage of foreign supplies, Gucci began experimenting withtypical luxury materials such as hemp, linen and jute.

Gucci again found equestrian inspiration during the fifties with its trademark green-red-green web stripe derived from a traditional saddle girth. Becoming an instant success and instantly recognizable hallmark of the brand, Gucci opened stores in Milan and New York and started to build its global presence as a symbol of modern luxury. A few years later, Gucci adopted the legendary interlocking double G logo, creating another chic Gucci visual insignia and continued its expansion internationally to the States and the UK.

It wasn’t until 1981 that Gucci staged its first ever runway show in Florence. In 1982, Gucci became a public limited company. Gucci re-launched its brand in the 1990’s through a groundbreaking mix of tradition and innovation. Tom Ford became creative director of Gucci in 1994 and infused the luxury brand with a sense of daring and provocative that resonated with celebrity and the fashion world. The stiletto and silk cut out jersey dresses with metallic hardware details have become instant icons of Ford’s unique glamorous vision.

By exploring Gucci’s rich heritage, incomparable craftsmanship and fashion allure, the brand successfully fused its rich history with the present, creating compelling collections that reached both commercial and critical success.  Today, Gucci continues to focus on strengthening the values upon which its enviable reputation has been founded for its history; exclusivity, quality, Made In Italy, Italian craftsmanship and fashion authority.

Green-Red-Green Stripe – A reference to the colours of Britain’s riding tradition first appeared on suitcases, trunks and other travel items.

Beauty Case – Understanding the importance of the Vanity Case as a container for numerous beauty and personal care products, Gucci crafted this in the 30s in various materials, from pigskin to suede, from Diamante Canvas to interlocking GG logo fabric.

Gucci Cadillac Seville – Commissioned by Aldo Gucci and introduced as a limited edition with 200 models in 1979.
Flora World – A symbol of a delicate and poetic imagination. Made for the Princess of Monaco, by illustrator Vittorio Accornero. Flora is among the classics as an icon of continuity from the precious historical archives, which revives every season with its evocative and timeless graphic power.
The Equestrian World – Considered an expression of the British nobility and international jet-set’s lifestyle. Bags in saddles further emphasize the historic tie between Gucci and the equestrian world.
Logomania – The GG is the most significant symbol in Gucci’s long history. Finding new interpretations over the years, recreated in silver and gold, precious leather, velvet and silk, it is a crucial icon for brand recognition and one of the best known monograms in Made in Italy production.
The Gucci Crest – Created in the mid-1950s as a symbol of the presumed descent of the Gucci family from royal saddlers during the Renaissance. It is a shield depicting a squire carrying a case and a travel bag alongside a rose and helm, which were chosen to symbolize respectively refinement and entrepreneurial power.
What I love about this brand is its ability to claim a unique duality in its brand positioning pairing modernity and heritage, innovation and craftsmanship, trendsetting and sophistication.
 
After we walked around the exhibition, looked into the shop selling one-off Gucci accessories and wandering the bookshop, we had lunch at the cafè. 
Pici al pesto pasta. Delicious. 
So where does the Gelato come in? We strolled through the narrow shopping streets, stopping into some shops along the way until we went into the gelateria Grom, one of the best in Florence.
Walking past Alcozer & J, I was instantly attracted by the gold jewellery… I think you can imagine what happened next! We spent a while there looking through the draws of necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets at our liberty. Handmade in Italy, the pieces are beautifully crafted, each being unique. There are two different collections: ‘Classic’, a classic style with a rich selection of subjects. ‘Unic’, a limited collection of unique pieces that boasts several styles. The ‘Classic’ collection takes its inspiration from the Italian Renaissance aristocracy, passing from the XIXth century’s costume jewellery allure, up to the fascinating 30s and 40s in America, with a modern interpretation. Never forgetting the classic themes of the frog-princes, crowns, good-luck owls, the sea world, flowers, Byzantine and Renaissance crosses all released in new and fascinating arrangements. The ‘Unic’ collection is in constant evolution, with only 12 samples per each model are produced. Authenticity and versatility combined with creativity and fantasy create unique and always innovative sculptures, realized with precious and semi-precious stones, corals, topaz, amethysts, turquoises, aquamarines, pearls and onyx, generating a collusion between reality and fiction suitable for all ages.
I saw this pair of unusual earrings and instantly fell in love…
X

Leave a Reply