While she chose not to use her famous surname on the label of her luxury handbag line, AG Limited Editions, there is no doubt that Alessandra Gucci is deeply influenced by her family's welldocumented past. Gucci, 32, peppers her conversation with references to those relatives who shaped her the most while growing up: her late father, Maurizio, and her late grandfather Rodolfo, who built Gucci (founded by his father, Guccio) into a major luxury label. The designer has inherited their passion for leather goods, even naming her three handbag styles after the two men and herself.
Of course, the Gucci family is well-known for more than just luxury goods. In 1998, her mother, Patrizia Reggiani, was convicted of hiring a hit man to kill Maurizio, and Gucci herself is understandably reluctant to discuss this diffi cult chapter. "I think people already know about my past, and my company is a new story," she says. "I didn't want to even call my company Gucci, because I wanted to create my own brand, and do the job by myself."
To that end, the alligator bags infuse classic chic with feminine fancy: Each style gets a small splash of colorful Swarovski crystals. Handmade by a Milan-based artisan with past ties to the Gucci company, the bags come in three colors, pink, blue and the multihued "jungle." Since alligator reacts to dye in "unexpected and extraordinary ways, each piece is unique," Gucci says. Wholesale prices range from $6,665 to $10,134 for the limited edition of 99 bags.
Gucci, who is based in Saint Moritz, Switzerland, launched the collection earlier this year after stints at Gilli handbags and Ungaro. She spent two years preparing her line. "I wanted to be sure [of the product]," she says. "This is a tribute to my family, which has passed on to me a deep love for quality, elegance and luxury." The bags are being sold through 10 Vendome, the Paris-based consulting service. On the challenges of launching such a venture during a tough economy, she notes: "We must put ourselves to the test [and] differentiate ourselves."
Going forward, Gucci has her eye on other product categories, such as shoes and gloves, but expects to do only limited editions. As for the company her family built, "Gucci is a giant now," she says. "I want to remain niche, and the images are entirely different. We can easily coexist."
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion