MILAN — Gucci is commemorating next year's Summer Olympic Games in China in its own luxurious way.
Separate from any official celebration or sponsor, Frida Giannini has created a special collection called 8-8-2008 Limited Edition that encompasses eight exclusive accessories with a sporty bent. The Olympics kick off in Beijing on Aug. 8 and eight is the lucky number in Chinese culture.
The collection's icing is the new I-Gucci watch, retailing for $1,415, which is the brand's first digital timepiece. It features a clean black face, also available in a clock hand format, a steel frame and a cherry red rubber strap engraved with the Gucci logo on the outside and internally embossed with the interlocked G motif.
Except for the watch, which will roll out worldwide, all the other 8-8-2008 Limited Edition items will be available only in Gucci stores in China, Hong Kong and Macau, starting in January. The initiative is a testament to the importance and potential China has for luxury goods brands.
The project also includes a $3,420 bicycle, with bold red double-G leather details, and other collector's items such as a mah-jongg game set covered in red La Pelle Guccissima leather and a soft leather panda teddy bear that pays homage to that iconic Chinese animal.
"Not only does red evoke happiness and celebration, two emotions that couldn't be more appropriate to describe the excitement brought by the international sport games, but it also happens to be a very fashionable color for 2008," Giannini said.
She also crafted two pieces of luggage in La Pelle Guccissima, a sturdy duffel bag and a soft messenger-style bag with Gucci's iconic green-and-red ribbon, as well as a pair of men's and women's sports shoes fashioned with a patchwork of suede, patent leather and a gold trim. Last but not least, to accessorize a casual look, there's a sterling silver and enamel necklace inspired by military tags.
An ad campaign shot by Chinese photographer Feng Hai and featuring young actor Huang Xiao Ming is also part of the deal. The portrait-style images that break in the February issues of magazines were shot in a studio in Hong Kong and will circulate in the same markets as the 8-8-2008 Limited Edition collection.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast