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It was 1953 when the horsebit loafer made its debut as Guccio Gucci’s son, Aldo Gucci, expanded his family’s business with the incorporation of footwear – sealing the fate of this style as the most iconic Gucci shoe ever made.
“The horsebit loafer has lived many lives since its creation 60 years ago, earning itself an important place as a wardrobe staple for both men and women alike. The double-ring and bar motif taken from equestrian hardware remains an icon linking Gucci’s unique history with its modern day attitude,” said Creative Director Frida Giannini.
Opened at the Gucci Museo in the House’s birthplace, Florence, a dedicated exhibit narrates the legacy of the horsebit loafer – from its origins on the feet of legendary leading men in the Fifties and Sixties through to its induction as part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1985 up to modern day.
Black and white archival shots of Hollywood royalty photographed wearing the loafer provide a background for the shoes on display. The designs see the application of Gucci’s bit hardware to a variety of materials – from calfskin to suede, patent leather, python, ostrich, crocodile, satin, and canvas – and the pairing with other House signatures such as the web stripe, bamboo, and interlocking GG. A variety of proportions, including the heels that took the women’s loafer to new heights as well as a unique hybrid between the loafer and the ankle boot, reveal styles never previously open to public viewing. The exhibit comprises the versions made famous by Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards, by Brad Pitt in the 1999 film “Fight Club,” and by Jodie Foster during her adolescence in the Seventies.