Appearing on the red carpet at the 2010 International Rome Film Festival alongside renowned director Martin Scorsese and CEO of Gucci Patrizio di Marco, Gucci’s Creative Director Frida Giannini has had an impact on the world that reaches far beyond the realm of fashion.
Giannini was born in Rome in 1972 and inherited her love for fashion from her grandmother, who owned a small dress shop in Italy. She studied at Rome’s Academy of Costume and Fashion where she gained all the preliminary skills needed to grow and become the great fashion icon that she is today.
Her career began as an apprentice in a small-scale ready-to-wear fashion house. She moved to Fendi in 1997 where she designed the ready-to-wear line and, after three seasons, was promoted to the designer of leather goods. In 2002, she acquired her first job at Gucci as the Handbag Design Director. After Tom Ford left Gucci in 2004, the image of provocative eroticism that he brought to the label was to change, and at this time Giannini was promoted to Creative Director of Accessories.In 2005, while remaining the designer of accessories, Giannini was also promoted to Creative Director of the Women’s ready-to-wear line. Finally, in 2006, she also became the designer for the menswear line and so found herself as the Creative Director of the entire fashion house.
Giannini brought a unique interpretation of the Gucci legacy to the label, emphasizing certain stylistic elements of the fashion house’s past while adding aspects of her confident and joyous Roman personality. She took vintage styles and recreated them with a contemporary feel while retaining the brand’s signature elegance. One of her first projects updated and revitalized the classic Flora scarf pattern that was originally made for Grace Kelly. Her recent collections exhibit an elegant, dignified and feminine style. Giannini has also used her influence to support the arts, lessen the company’s carbon footprint and contribute to charity.
This year, the major fashion house contributed $900,000 to the Martin Scorsese Film Foundation to aid in the restoration of the classic Italian Films La Dolce Vita (1960) and Il Gattopardo (1963). The premiere of the newly restored La Dolce Vita proved to be one of the highlights of this year’s International Rome Film Festival. In an interview with Vogue, Giannini said: “Gucci has a long history with film dating back to the late Forties, and we are proud to support the work of Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation to keep these vibrant, timeless films alive. Through preservation, the legacy of visionary filmmakers like Luchino Visconti and Federico Fellini can continue to inspire us, as well as future generations.”
Also this year, Gucci announced a plan, conceived by Giannini, to reduce its impact on the environment. The plans include a new packing concept that will reduce the amount of materials used, working only with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper, and will be 100% recyclable. This concept will be implemented in every Gucci store worldwide.
In 2008, Giannini partnered with hip-hop star Rihanna on a collection of customized handbags and ads, of which 25% of profits would go to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Called the “Tattoo Heart Collection,” it is just one of the annual campaigns that Gucci has participated in to benefit UNICEF and other charities since Giannini became Creative Director.
Connecting fashion with charity, sustainability, responsibility and compassion, Giannini has created a new image and significance to what it means to be a globally renowned fashion house in today’s society.