Table of contents:
Florentine Gucci Museo, which houses the heritage of the 95-year-old fashion house on three floors, opened in 2011. The exhibits presented in it are milestones by which you can read the history of the Italian legend: from suitcases and bags made of canvas - the material with which Guccio Gucci had to replace expensive leather during the Second World War, to the famous Gucci Flora square, created in honor of Grace Kelly. and later collections by the creative director of the House, Frida Giannini. However, in all this wealth there was one important element missing - an exposition dedicated to the period of "reign" of Tom Ford, whose contribution to the development of the brand is enormous. Five years later, the Italian Maison is ready to fill the gap: the Gucci Museo will open an entire hall dedicated to the Ford collections for Gucci.all exhibits of which were personally selected by the current creative director Alessandro Michele (back in 2002, he started working for the company thanks to Ford). So why is the era of the "American in the Italian House" meaningful in the history of Gucci?
Gucci advertising campaign, fall-winter 1996/1997
Tom Ford joined the company in 1990 (after graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York, the young man worked for several American designers, but over time he realized that "real haute couture can only be in Europe"). Dawn Mello, the brand's creative director at the time, appointed the ambitious guy to be the designer of the Gucci women's line. Over time, more and more responsibilities fell on the shoulders of Ford, and by 1992 he was already in charge of not only women's, but also men's clothing line, as well as perfumery, advertising campaigns and boutique design. Finally, in 1994, Tom Ford was appointed Creative Director of Gucci, a turning point in the history of the venerable fashion house.
Gucci advertising campaign, fall-winter 1996/1997
In the mid-1990s, things were not going well for Gucci: in 1993, the company lost $ 22 million (at a profit of 230 million), the management was overpowered by creditors, and the brand image needed to be radically redesigned. And then, like a tornado in his native Texas, Tom Ford burst in - bold, uncompromising, with an absolutely clear vision of the new aesthetics of the House. Ford grasped the marketing trap Gucci needed to be successful, and its main slogan was “sex sells”. The Ford collection fall-winter 1995/1996 (the first - spring-summer 1995 - "shot" far less loudly) is considered canonical in the history of fashion: half-open satin blouses and velvet trousers in rich, as if electrified, tones,perfectly tailored suits and coats - in that collection, aggressive sexuality (which Gianni Versace was giving to its fullest at that time) and refinement surprisingly.
Gucci advertising campaign, fall-winter 1995/1996
This was the secret of Tom Ford's success: against the backdrop of Belgian deconstructivism, Japanese avant-garde, minimalism of Armani and Gilles Zanger and “ugly beauty” of Miuccia Prada, the Gucci collection, literally oozing sensual energy, was intended for women who are not looking for intellectual fashion, but simply want casual clothes that will look attractive. Tom Ford managed to create an object of desire, even a cult, out of a brand that was going through hard times - literally everyone wanted Gucci. The designer added the missing fifth element to the Italian House, which all players in the fashion industry subsequently began to hunt for - what is defined in English by the capacious word "attitude", that is, a strong position against the background of competitors. Moreover, Ford was selling not only the Gucci name,but also his own - he elevated his personality to the status of a brand and, in principle, forced the public to perceive in a new way the place of creative directors in the hierarchy of fashion houses: they are not just clothing designers, but people who create a whole world around a particular brand. With the light hand of Tom Ford, advertising campaigns began to work on the new Gucci image, most of which the designer created together with stylist Karin Roitfeld and photographer Mario Testino: backhand with their provocativeness, daring, but impossibly beautiful (apparently, the designer learned the lesson of Calvin Klein well) … The final chord and almost the crown of the designer's career at Gucci was the 2003 campaign with the model Carmen Kass in the title role, where she poses with the letter G shaved in the causal place - she caused an incredible scandal.
Gucci advertising campaign, spring-summer 2003
Ford's work was crowned with success: in the first nine months of 1995, the company's profits doubled, and by the beginning of the new millennium, revenues were a record $ 4 billion. In 2004, the paths of the designer and the Italian house diverged: he could not agree with the leadership of the fashion conglomerate PPR (now Kering), the owner of Gucci, on the terms of his new contract. Ford is gone, but his legacy remains forever in Gucci's biography and now in the House's museum.