11 May 2011
As creative director of Gucci, Frida Giannini holds the reins of one of Italy's most powerful fashion houses. Following in the footsteps of Tom Ford was never going to be easy, but Giannini has garnered glowing reviews for her fresh, feminine take on contemporary fashion.
- She was born in Rome in 1972 to an architect father and art history professor mother.
- Giannini studied fashion design at Rome's Fashion Academy, then went on to apprentice at a small-scale ready-to-wear house.
- 1997 saw her move to Fendi, where she designed ready-to-wear for three seasons before being promoted to designer of leather goods.
- In 2002 she became design director of handbags at Gucci, her first role for the Italian fashion house.
- In 2004 Tom Ford left Gucci and Giannini was promoted to creative designer of all accessories - a job which saw her delve into the archives to update classics such as the Flora scarf pattern.
- 2005 saw Giannini further promoted to creative director of women's ready-to-wear at Gucci, as well as continuing her role as designer of all accessories.
- In 2006 she took over menswear as well, and thus became creative director of the whole label. She was also responsible for developing a new retail concept for Gucci's stores, and also has creative control over the advertising campaigns, which have featured James Franco and Claire Danes.
- Giannini has been instrumental in working on projects regarding Gucci's continued partnership with UNICEF, having collaborated with singer Rihanna on the Tattoo Heart range of bags, which raised funds for children in Africa, in July 2008.
- Giannini described Florence and The Machine frontwoman Florence Welch as her inspiration for Gucci's autumn/winter 2011 collection. "As I was imagining this collection I was thinking of a strong and somewhat mysterious muse. Florence is that kind of woman," she explained. "She has a powerful personality and an entrancing quality to her performances. She also has that confident and self-assured look that goes hand in hand with the Gucci woman." Soon after the collection was shown it was revealed that Gucci would design Florence's stage outfits for her North American tour. SEE FLORENCE WEARING THE COLLECTION HERE.
- Speaking of her knack for picking emerging talent - such as James Franco, Rihanna and Mark Ronson - to feature in Gucci campaigns, Giannini said: "I chose to work with all three of them before they became as popular culturally as they are today. I think Gucci has been successful in bridging past and present. We have a rich and storied past, but we always have an eye to the future, which these collaborations represent."
- On February 11 2011, she was honoured by UNICEF for her key contributions to UNICEF's mission to save and improve children's lives worldwide. The awards were bestowed at the inaugural Women of Compassion Luncheon.
- Patrizio de Marco, ceo of Gucci, has praised Giannini's innate talent at moving the brand forward. "She knows how to balance the fashion elements with Gucci's heritage. I don't have to tell Frida to do anything other than to be herself, she's made beautiful products from the beginning."