If you are looking to credit anyone with the fantastic commercial success of the Gucci brand within the past few years, look no further than Frida Giannini.
Recently, Tim Blanks had the chance to sit down and have a candid chat with this shrewd Roman business woman to get a better understanding of both Frida and her role in the fashion giant that is known around the world as Gucci.
What are you working on now?
Frida: One million things at the same time. Basically, I am working now on the men's fashion show because it is the next appointment. But we have already started with the women's fashion show for September. I just finished the Cruise collection last week. We're going to show it in Rome for the 70th anniversary of the Rome store.
I read that you're doing the show in Gianicolo, the neighborhood where you grew up.
Frida: Yes. Not only that, but it's in the villa where I had my wedding party, purely by chance!
While you're designing the men's collection and looking forward to the women's, are you imagining them together?
Frida: Now, yes. With men, you need to anticipate all your ideas at least one or two months before the next women's collection, so you need to create a feeling that links with what will happen a few months later. To me, they are really a couple. They live together. They grew up in Italy together. So, not just in the stores or the campaigns, but also in real life, it's very important for me to create a connection between them.
That Russian story you're telling in the men's and women's collections for fall makes that connection the strongest it's ever been. Interesting, because when you took over in 2006, the original energy reminded me of the Via Veneto, a very Roman mood. What is it about Russia that's capturing your imagination?
Frida: Well, Russia was not the main inspiration. Of course, Russia was inspiring the fabrics and the textile designs, but the idea was more rock star and the bohemian idea of rock 'n' roll-that sort of decadence, but in a luxurious way that to me is always present.
After the last men's show you said to me that what Rome and Russia have in common is this energy where you could reinvent yourself every day if you wanted to. Do you think you've reinvented yourself since you came to Gucci?
Frida: You need to reinvent yourself every day when you are doing creative work. I always say that the moment I feel I'm at the top of the mountain and I cannot do more, I would be finished. So that's why I always feel the earth quake beneath my feet. I always feel myself on the fire. Because I think this is something that gives you the right adrenaline to work and go forward in your professional life. I have reinvented myself, believe me, many times in my life!