If you are the type who pays attention to the latest goings-on in the fashion industry, and even if you aren’t, it’s likely you’ve caught wind of what has had the entire business up in arms of late. Early last week, it was announced that Gucci would be releasing its current creative director, Frida Giannini, effective immediately following the presentation of the next womenswear collection in February. Giannini has been with the brand for last decade, having started under the reign of Tom Ford. She took the helm in 2006, and was soon joined by her life partner Franco di Marco, who served as the chief executive of the brand. He, too, has been removed from his position.
Despite the fact that designers seem to change houses practically on the daily, this change-up certainly got people talking. This is probably due to the fact that the report’s of Giannini and di Marco’s leaving Gucci came just months after the designer herself confirmed that she had renewed her contract with the brand. And although plenty of rumors are circulating as to why exactly the couple was ousted, the fact remains that past few years have been difficult at best for Gucci, which has taken a major hit as the luxury market continues to struggle. di Marco was brought in specifically to turn things around, and his failure to do so, coupled with Giannini’s inability to impress design-wise, no doubt contributed to their early departure.
I’ll be honest: before this story broke, I paid little to attention to Gucci. Aside from observing the photos from their runways presentations on occasion, I had little to no familiarity with the brand or its creative director. All the drama surrounding the house, however, got me interested. I did some research into Giannini’s work for Gucci the past few years, I have to admit she did very respectable work. After taking over from Tom Ford, she impressed critics with a well-received debut collection. Trouble, however, soon followed. Season after season, Giannini failed to solidify an identity for Gucci. It seemed as if, although the clothes she produced were without a doubt attractive and sellable, she was in a constant phase of experimentation, that after several years and countless collections she was still struggling to find her footing. This is certainly not the message that a struggling Gucci wanted to send to the rest of the fashion world.
That being said, I thought it might be nice to take a quick look back at some of Frida Giannini’s recent collections for Gucci. Like I said, she did produce some beautiful clothes, even if they weren’t exactly what the house needed. The slideshow below will give you look at what I am talking about. As for me, I am definitely interested in seeing how this story plays out. The fate of Gucci, after all, remains unresolved…