• The San Juan Daily Star

The Gucci spell: 100 years of luxury

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The STAR

Growing up in Middletown Puerto Rico in the 1980s, I was obsessed with brands like Esprit, Hang Ten, Swatch, Benetton and Fiorucci. Girlie looks. Soon after it was Oui Boutique and Gucci.

Gucci was everything. The watch, the handbags, the signature red and green stripes, the double Gs. To top it all off, a dear uncle hit the Lotto and bought the Cadillac Seville styled by Gucci. The year was 1982. Heaven on Earth.

Gucci was huge then. And through thick and thin it has never stopped being a powerhouse. And how could it not be relevant through the decades? Before the scandal, they renamed a handbag after Jackie Kennedy and commissioned the “Flora” print for Grace Kelly. Celebrities have always been seduced by the Italian brand.

In 2021 the Florentine House has been celebrating its 100th anniversary and the fascination with everything Gucci has taken the world by storm. Of course the release of the movie “House of Gucci” doesn’t hurt. Stars Lady Gaga and Salma Hayek (whose husband is the CEO of Kering, the luxury group that owns Gucci), are red carpet magnets mesmerizing fans and paparazzis in carefully styled looks by, of course, Gucci.

And the romance doesn’t stop at the cinema. Alessandro Michele, influencer, visionary and creative director of Gucci since 2015, has been making headlines and dominating social media since the start of his reign, all over the world. His Midas touch is immense across the board and includes The Gucci Garden in Florence, Gucci Osteria, the Gucci Jewelry Collection, Gucci Beauty, Gucci Home, the Gucci Red Carpet for the Los Ángeles County Museum of Art Gala, and the Gucci Love Parade. A-listers from Adele and Elle Fanning to Jared Leto and Diane Keaton are dressed by Michele.

Michele’s fascinating vision of fashion has captured an industry that has been lacking a real explosion of fresh inspiration for some seasons now. He is totally connected with generations of fashionistas who are desperate to express themselves and have visibility.

His collections are eclectic, electric, hypnotic, witty, powerful and daring. The designer is a mixologist who masters the art of combining the old with the new, retro with contemporary. It’s vintage with a hint of galaxies to come. Very bold, very sexual and at the same time, kind of sweet.

It’s a new world, moving fast, and Alessandro Michele stepped up to the plate and took it upon himself to not just revamp Gucci, but also diversify a whole industry by injecting dynamism, eye-popping designs, unexpected vibrant combinations and, more than anything, personality. The Italian maestro has provoked a cascade effect that has sent every other haute couture house back to the sketching board.

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