Horsebit

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The horsebit was first written into Gucci’s vocabulary in the Fifties, when it was used on heavy tan leather saddle-stitched handbags. Since then, the horsebit has been both miniaturized and maximized as hardware; luxuriously schemed into embossed or burned-out surfaces on leather suede and velvet; turned into repeat patterns printed on silk and sculpted into the components of precious jewelry.

The horsebit played a crucial role in marking out the Gucci loafer as a time-traversing design classic. The snaffle was introduced as a decoration on the soft and comfortable brown or black leather Gucci men’s moccasins in 1953. They graced the feet of Hollywood’s leading men including Clark Gable, John Wayne and Fred Astaire, and when women's versions appeared in 1968, they became the choice of sophisticated women looking for a luxurious kind of comfort.




In 1980, the men’s horsebit loafer was added to the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, sealing its fate as a fashion classic.

Embracing the icon’s strong heritage and blending it with her fresh contemporary design, Frida Giannini has now given the horsebit a new lease of life in a whole host of wearable ways. Adapting interlocking prints from a red and blue Gucci pattern used for shoulder bags and silk blouses in 1969-1970, she has transformed them into mini-versions printed on flowing dresses or has enlarged designs to an exaggerated scale on travel-totes  and belts ensuring that this latest installment of the horsebit is set to run and run.


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