Gucci's Gear-Minded Growth
With custom sneakers, pop-up stores in fashion's hottest cities and an iPhone app that does it all, Gucci is leading the designer pack.
Designing looks for Gucci’s iconic lines is a full-time job, but Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini has taken on some side projects, too. After all, 1921 Florence—where Gucci was founded—was a fashionable time, but 2010 is upon us, and Gucci is looking forward for their stylish, savvy clients.
Because she knows that Gucci fans want the brand to be a continuous part of their lives, Giannini oversaw the creation of the Gucci App for iPhone and iPod Touch. While a few fashion houses have apps, Giannini wanted to make Gucci’s more than just a virtual lookbook—it’s a full lifestyle package. “Apps are the new virtual accessory, so I approached the design of Gucci’s first app in the same way I do with a bag or shoe from my collections,” she says. “I looked to provide the essence of the Gucci lifestyle experience in a way that takes full advantage of the technological capabilities.” Translation: This app has style, music, and—of course—exclusive shopping opportunities.
“Apps are the new virtual accessory, so I approached the design of Gucci’s first app in the same way I do a bag or shoe from my collections.”–Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini
Giannini brought in award-winning musical artist and producer Mark Ronson to add some flavor to the app—fashion and music have long influenced each other. For Gucci Beats, which allows users to mix their own tracks on a virtual turntable, Ronson added loops that can be individually manipulated by layering beats, sound types, drums, bass and vocals. That means users can play DJ, saving and sharing their tracks with friends. Both Giannini and Ronson also created personal playlists for the app, which can be downloaded directly from iTunes. Giannini’s list, currently inspiring her fashion collections, is great music to get dressed to.
And who hasn’t wanted to roll like a runway designer? In addition to muse-worthy music, the Gucci App lets you peek into the Gucci Little Black Book, a best-of list for hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs in 30+ major cities around the world—including Giannini’s own favorite spots in New York and Miami.
New York is on the list, naturally, and that happens to have been the first location of the GUCCI ICON-TEMPORARY, a flash sneaker store that is currently traveling the world and showcasing a line of super-exclusive co-designed Gucci Ronson sneakers. It’s another way that Gucci gives an on-demand experience to in-the-know shoppers. The store’s opening party drew dozens of celebrities, including Mary J. Blige, Claire Danes, Wyclef Jean, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco. The flash sneaker store will also hit Miami on December 1st, London and Tokyo in early 2010.
Each sneaker in the GUCCI ICON-TEMPORARY collection bears classic Gucci design signatures, like the GG logo or a stylized version of the iconic Gucci red and green web detail. Plus, each one comes with silver or gold metal dog tags and the option to emboss initials onto a customized leather tag on the shoelaces.
The GUCCI ICON-TEMPORARY collection features 18 sneaker styles (16 men’s and two women’s), and every tour destination will have its own limited-edition Gucci Ronson model. These styles are co-designed specifically for each city on the international tour. Sneaker aficionados, rejoice! “I spent many years as an avid sneaker collector, so I wanted to make sure these Gucci shoes were truly special, both from an aesthetic point of view and a collectable one,” says Ronson, who also created a custom 12-inch vinyl record with exclusive tracks as a gift with purchase of the Gucci Ronson sneaker. Bonus.
And here’s the extra-VIP secret: For each city opening in the US, one special Gucci Ronson model has been reserved exclusively for the Gucci App, so only app users can view and purchase these coveted designs. Hear that, Gucci App users? Close the DJ function and check out the iPhone exclusive product. The first Gucci Ronson model was available at launch on October 21st with a second version releasing around November 30th.
Also available through the Gucci App only? You can purchase a signed copy of Michael Roberts’ children’s book “Snowman in Africa” exclusively through your app right now through November 30th. The entire retail price of $25 goes to support UNICEF programs that benefit orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ah, shopping with Gucci and giving back? Win-win.