Horsebit Loafer

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Sixtieth anniversary celebrations for Gucci’s legendary horsebit loafer will commence this week with the opening of a dedicated exhibit at the Gucci Museo in Florence and the unveiling of a global campaign transforming the House’s store windows and Facebook page into a cascade of fancy footwork. 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.
Opening tomorrow 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. An array of archival loafers provide an account of the shoe’s evolution over the years – including styles from all of the past six decades. 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.

The anniversary will leave its mark not only in Florence but across the world with the House’s flagship store windows showcasing a lively cascade of loafers from Giannini’s boldly colorful 1953 Collection for men and women. The same bright aesthetic of Gucci’s storefront comes to life in a digital campaign with a dedicated tab on the House’s Facebook page and a vibrant video that will appear across Gucci’s social networks. Inspired by the fancy footwork of Hollywood legends, the video is an invitation to kick up your heels and celebrate six decades of all the right moves.
A Facebook quiz follows the video – allowing users to discover what style loafer fits them best: rebel, romantic, jet-set, prep, rugged or trendsetter. A special collaboration with the world’s leading bloggers provides a look at how today’s style authorities interpret the horsebit loafer.

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