Artisan (ar•ti•san): A person who is skilled at making things by hand (Merriam Webster dictionary). Gucci, since 1921, has stood by their morals of luxury craftsmanship, quality goods, and family heritage. These standards are all implemented into their high quality goods. The brand trains craftsmen into being highly skilled artisans, who hand craft many of Gucci’s iconic products. From creating bags, shoes, scarves, trunks, ready to wear clothing, handpicking and dying leathers, and so much more, Gucci is well known for its beautiful products.
This past weekend (March 28th-30th), I was very fortunate to have attended the Gucci Artisan’s Corner event at Holt Renfrew, Yorkdale. This event was extremely special, and something very unique! When speaking with Gucci sales associates, I was informed that this type of event only happens in certain places worldwide, and Yorkdale was very happy to have been chosen to host such an occasion. Usually only in locations across the globe, or notably New York and LA, Torontonians were fortunate to have the opportunity to watch artisans assemble items right in front of their eyes! I learned that each artisan has usually been in the company based on family tradition. For generations, their parents, grandparents, and maybe even great grandparents worked as artisans, crafting Gucci’s goods. Being a craftsman is an extremely challenging job, and entails training in a school to perfect skills in creating goods up to standards. It gives the artisans great pride to assemble products, which will be purchased by Gucci enthusiasts worldwide; especially knowing that something they created will be appreciated so greatly.
One of the main bags this season, the classic Bamboo Shopper bag in fringe, from Gucci’s new suede fringe collection, was handcrafted in front of my very own eyes! The pieces were pre-cut, boxed, and sent to the Gucci boutique at Holts from Italy. A team of artisans who travel the world went along to sew, glue, and put together the brilliant handbag. The most exceptional part of this whole experience was knowing that someone was able to take home the bag that was created specifically for them as they witness the process in action, and have it hand stamped with their initials (or name). Not only were bags being crafted, but skins were also being inspected and dyed, then cut to create goods from them! Gucci had many exotic skins on display, including crocodile, ostrich and python. I watched as one artisan carefully went over the scales on the crocodile skin, trying to find any imperfections. He then dyed and touched up any flaws in the skin. There were many bags on display, crafted in many of these different skins. One of the bags they finished piecing together as I got there was the iconic New Bamboo bag in baby blue ostrich, seen here: http://www.gucci.com/ca-en/styles/254884A2O0Z6411. Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini has recreated the iconic article of the brand, the New Bamboo bag, in recent years. The Bamboo Fringe Shopper bag is featured in boutiques, as well as online at Gucci.com, only in red or black. The bag can be purchased here: http://www.gucci.com/ca-en/styles/349198C6G0V1000. But for this special event, they created only 4 models in each of the 2 limited edition colours offered. Pictured is the “cherry syrup” colour (as was mentioned to me) and the other colour is a chestnut brown (I believe). From what I was told, Gucci only made 4 of these specific colours in Canada, and most likely there were fewer than 20 models available in these colours in North America alone. Inside, there is also a plaque stating “Artisan Corner, Limited Edition”, giving the bag a unique touch among the regular versions offered.
The bag features a unique fringe on the front, very iconic in Gucci’s Spring/Summer collection this season. Fringe has become a big trend this season, and Gucci definitely hit the mark on this bag! They also feature a few other bag models crafted in the suede, as well as in their classic pebbled leather. Died in a deep, rich red tone, featuring the Gucci, Made in Italy trademark embossing, black lacquered bamboo handles, and a crossbody strap for added convenience, the Bamboo Fringe Shopper is a wonderful tote that anyone would definitely enjoy! Not to mention, the fringe brings in a 70s inspired era with a modern twist; it’s super sexy, yet elegant!
I was also extremely fortunate to have been able to go up to the exclusive Holt Renfrew Apartment, and preview Gucci’s FW14 runway collection. Direct from Milan Fashion Week in Italy, straight off the models’ backs, the collection was gorgeous. It felt so special seeing the collection up close, in front of my very eyes, and being able to touch it! Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, but take a look at the runway looks here: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/F2014RTW-GUCCI. With tons of 70s inspiration, and some modern edge, Gucci has proved to have an incredible impact on the fashion world. From unique craftsmanship, to beautiful products, Gucci’s heritage has built a legacy in the fashion world, and will continue to thrive in the future!
–S&L Wearing: Theory knit sweater (similar colour here) Classic Gucci guccisima brown leather belt All Saints leather jacket (last season, other options available here) J Brand Trooper cargo pants Tiffany 1837 Collection cuff Y-3 Courtside shoes (Courtside 2’s available here) 3.1 Phillip Lim large Pashli satchel.