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My love letter to Gucci |


My love letter to Gucci

YAPARAZZI - Tim Yap - The Philippine Star
My love letter to Gucci
Heart of the matter: At this stage, Heart Evangelista just goes for black and white.

As a creative endeavor and expression of the times, the house and its history over the past century can be mapped through an ability to evolve and, more broadly, to expand on the mutability of our own consciousness and ability to make cognitive shifts. Rather like a garment itself that is able to be changed and re-tailored, like a shed skin that constantly renews itself.”

British contemporary artist Es Devlin said it best, describing the mega brand that was founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921 to the pioneering spirit of his sons, Aldo and Rodolfo, and the evolution that the more recent creative directors added to the brand, from Tom Ford and Frida Giannini to Alessandro Michele.

Each era contributed to the vast history of this much revered brand, ever as coveted, ever as relevant, from the time they started making the best leather goods in Florence to the multi-lifestyle conglomerate that it is today.

“For over a century Gucci’s abiding codes and spirit have been brought to life in its most iconic designs, and how these era-defining classics have forever inspired and been interpreted and reinterpreted by the House’s design visionaries.  Gucci’s progressive belief in the power of creativity, anchored in the finest Italian craftsmanship and tradition, has seen Gucci not only mirror the times, but also define them — in doing so, advancing society and its aesthetic tastes.”

Simply put, Gucci has been defining the zeitgeist for more than a hundred years now.

So much has been said, movies have been made and speculations have been raised about the past, present and future of this beloved brand. My personal journey with Gucci started out when I was raiding my father’s closet for costume finds for a school play.  Found this green velvet Gucci jacket that fit like a glove. I wore it to the play, and then another time for my prom that year. And I have never looked back.

When the brand came to Manila in 2003, I mustered all the energy and chutzpah I had in my teenage life to attend the go-see as one of the models for the launch. I was in the right size (“If you fit into these pants, you’re in!”) at that time and luckily got in.

Fast forward a few years later and during the launch of their Shangri-La store, I was blessed to be tasked by the brand to be one of the personalities to grace the opening.

I simply am in love with the brand (Gucci Gang who?) and always salivate each time a new collection is launched.   Nothing fits and feels better than wearing a Gucci. IYKYK.

A 360-degree look at the Gucci world

Anne Curtis pulsates in Gucci in Seoul.

But enough about me. This story is about the now and the new store that is currently in Greenbelt 4.  Whereas the prior belief is that Manila was a “shoes and accessories” market only, now it’s a 360-degree look at the Gucci world — a world that knows no bounds when it comes to creativity and innovation.  From the latest in women’s and men’s apparel to shoes and shades, anything and everything that Guccio Gucci would have been proud of is here.

Emmanuel Delrieu, president of Gucci South Asia and Pacific, talked about their latest expansion: “The new store in Greenbelt is incredible not just in size, but also in offering.”

His personal favorite area?

“It is precisely in travel that Gucci finds its origins, and one of the highlights of the store is the Valigeria display, dedicated to our travel offering.”

As we see more and more luxury brands opening stores in the country, and coming in independently, I asked Mr. Delrieu the reason behind the expansion of Gucci in Greenbelt 4.  Also the direction that the brand is taking for the brand’s future, specifically in the Philippines.

“Gucci has a decades-long history in Manila, opening its first boutique here in 2003,” he replied. “It’s an exciting moment for the brand locally, further reinforcing our commitment to the Philippines, a country that offers our brand a promising proposition supported by its unique geography and dynamic local culture.”

In the store, we’ll find many of the classics that make Gucci the most desirable luxury brand — staples that we all grew up with, such as bags, leather shoes and wallets. I saw the Jackie bags from the ’60s and ’70s on display, some specials from their archives, some happy sneaks and this is what I’m happiest about: a full line of apparel! Beautifully tailored clothes for women and men! I’m in heaven.

A new creative director

The new Gucci store in Greenbelt 4

We are now facing the future.  With new creative director Sabato De Sarno in place, what will the new direction be?  We all saw the new sheer Gucci dress that Kendall Jenner wore recently and if we are to base it on that, a very new Gucci aesthetic will soon be unveiled.  We shall soon see that direction this September at Milan Fashion Week.

The house seems optimistic about the new path De Sarno is creating.  Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci, commented: “I am delighted that Sabato will join Gucci as the House’s new creative director, one of the most influential roles in the luxury industry. Having worked with a number of Italy’s most renowned luxury fashion houses, he brings with him a vast and relevant experience. I am certain that through Sabato’s deep understanding and appreciation for Gucci’s unique legacy, he will lead our creative teams with a distinctive vision that will help write this exciting next chapter, reinforcing the House’s fashion authority while capitalizing on its rich heritage.”

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said, “One hundred and two years after Guccio Gucci opened his first store in Florence, Gucci remains one of the most iconic, prominent and influential luxury houses in the world. With Sabato De Sarno at the creative helm, we are confident that the House will continue both to influence fashion and culture through highly desirable products and collections, and to bring a singular and contemporary perspective to modern luxury.”

For his part, De Sarno said, “I am deeply honored to take on the role as creative director of Gucci. I am proud to join a House with such an extraordinary history and heritage,that over the years has been able to welcome and cherish values I believe in. I am touched and excited to contribute my creative vision for the brand.”

But wait, there’s more. There’s the Palace collaboration with Gucci, where London skate wear meets Italian craftsmanship, their continuing efforts with gender equality with Chime, with no less than Salma Hayek Pinault as cofounder.  Gucci has also started explorations in generative art and fashion —- a collaborative auction with Christie’s New York showcasing a number of today’s leading talents in NFTs with a distinct focus on generative systems and artificial intelligence.

And what about the Gucci town and Vans collaboration where the users can travel between Gucci Town and Vans World to collect fabrics and patterns, bringing Gucci “Continuum” x Vans to life in the metaverse? Okay, this one I have yet to get into.

Last December in Sydney I was able to visit the Gucci Gardens exhibit. I remember so vividly the final part of the exhibit.  It was prophetic because it was the first campaign Alessandro Michele worked on for Gucci and there it was being the exit point of the exhibit.  It simulated one being in a train onwards to another destination. Pretty much sums up where Gucci is going to, next.

Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure: Gucci will forever remain at the pinnacle of creativity and Italian craftsmanship, a global House committed to genuine luxury quality, iconic designs, and ideas that shape the future.

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Follow the author @officialtimyap on Instagram and TikTok, @iamtimyap on Facebook.

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