February 20, 2013

An Italian Celebration

It's a good thing Gucci built a museum in Florence. Given the legendary place some of its products have come to maintain within 20th century culture, the Gucci Museo - a space featuring both permanent exhibitions of historic products and temporary installations of contemporary art - serves not only a flagbearer for the storied Italian leathergoods house but also for Italian sartorial culture at large. Case in point: this week's opening of a special exhibition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Gucci's iconic horsebit loafer. Created in 1953 by Guccio Gucci's son, Aldo, as the brand expanded into footwear, the loafer remains the most iconic shoe produced by the house. "The horsebit loafer has lived many lives since its creation sixty years ago, earning itself an important place as a wardrobe staple for both men and women alike," explains Gucci's creative director Frida Giannini. "The double-ring and bar motif taken from equestrian hardware remains an icon linking Gucci's unique history with its modern day attitude." The exhibition narrates the legacy of the horsebit loafer, from its origins in the fifties through to its induction as part of the permanent collection of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985, through to its contemporary incarnation in a range of exotic fabrics. Additionally, the windows of Gucci stores across the world will be transformed with a vibrant video installation