The French don’t give away their titles lightly. Having spent my childhood attending the French Lycee in New York City, I know firsthand that simply wrangling a complement out of someone in a position of power (in that case a teacher), even when it is deserved (by being first in the class), is a near impossibility. With that in mind, I was quite taken aback with the announcement that Gucci is looking to start a couture house.
Of course, being certified by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture is no easy feat, and odds are slim that Gucci – more focused on marketing and buzz than intricate craftsmanship – will get it. Lucky for the Gucci team creative director, Frida Giannini is not looking to show in Paris. In fact, she seems more interested in following a path similar to the one that Donatella Versace has taken with her Atelier Versace line. The Gucci couture pieces would be sold by appointment only, and used for celebrity purposes.
While I can’t imagine that, at least from the standpoint of fashion as an art form, Giannini’s work could rival anything from Lacroix or Galliano, this is an example of how great Gucci is at generating buzz and excitement. Also, they are backed by the mega-conglomerate Gucci Group, which surely has the money to finance this undertaking, so I applaud their decision – at least from a business perspective – at taking a non-traditional route with their couture line. We already know Gucci has huge appeal in Asia and the Middle East where the new emerging couture clients are, so it will make the future of Gucci’s endeavors all the more exciting.
Perhabs we are witnessing a new form of couture emerging much in the same way we have seen blogs emerge as a viable news alternative.