GUCCI celebrates return to equestrianism

Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco and grand-daughter of Princess Grace marks not only Gucci‘s connection with royalty but also the brand’s return to equestrianism. Gucci’s creative director, Frida Giannini declared Ms Casiraghi as a natural choice for Gucci’s “Forever Now” campaign, which was launched earlier this year.

The campaign was a relaunch of its iconic horsebit loafer, celebrating its 60th anniversary. The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the new relationship between Gucci and the Royals and celebrating the link to equestrianism.

When asked about the value of attaching an iconic celebrity to the campaign, Giannini disagrees with the concept. “I don’t see Charlotte as a ‘face’ of a campaign, but instead a creative collaborator who is helping to narrate a story,” Gucci and equestrian go hand in hand.

The fil rouge of the new collection is the rosette icon from the Gucci archives, which Giannini has reinterpreted across all elements. The motif originated as a broach during the 1980s when Gucci collaborated with the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) to sponsor the Gucci Trophy for the best international horse-riding professionals. Before entering the archives, the rosette also gained popularity as a foulard. For her reinterpretation, Giannini has inscribed the symbol with Ms. Casiraghi’s initials, C.C., and applied it to the blazers, polos, buttons, saddle pads, rugs, fly veils, and blankets, as well as creating a one of a kind broach.

“Gucci has a rich heritage and links to the equestrian world since its beginnings. Not only do I feel this evident connection to the house, but I also like the values of quality and craftsmanship that have remained unchanged throughout the years.”

Charlotte Casiraghi for Gucci

The association of the two is serendipitous – no one seems to know quite why Guccio Gucci, the company’s founder, was intent on using equestrian hardware as decoration. It is said that the Gucci stripe came originally from the girth of a saddle. Casiraghi, herself, has spoken highly of her project with Gucci “Gucci’s association with the equestrian world is extremely important (to me),” she says. “When you share a common passion with someone it makes any relationship more exciting and brings you closer together.”

The Gucci loafer was created in 1950 by Guccio Gucci and was given its trademark horsebit accessory as a nod to the company’s equestrian pretensions. According to legend, the loafer was modelled on the moccasins worn by the Algonquin tribe of Native Americans. By the 60′s, the loafer was a status symbol, worn by movie stars from Clark Gable, John Wayne and Fred Astaire to Yul Brynner, Alain Delon and Peter Sellers.

“The loafer has become iconic because it is one of the most functional items in both a man and a woman’s wardrobe – worn not only by successful businessmen, but also by stylists, artists, musicians, mothers, weekenders, and so on.”