As creative director of Gucci, Frida Giannini’s strong design aesthetic, drawn from the archives of the storied label’s rich history and re-imagined for a modern audience, helped grow the brand to a $2.8 billion business that operates over 250 stores worldwide.
Taking over the compnay’s creative helm from Alessandra Facchinetti in 2006, Giannini’s transformation away from the ‘GG’ monograms and towards house classics such as the flora motif, proved an instant commercial success and the Italian designer has been oft credited with pioneering the ‘heritage’ movement within the fashion community. The recipient of a ‘Design Star’ honour from Fashion Group International, Giannini has also been awarded ‘La Lupa Capitalina’ by the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, and in 2013 was the subject of a documentary film The Director, produced by James Franco and Christina Voros. Debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, the documentary followed Giannini’s artistic process as she prepared for catwalk shows and launches.
Giannini exited the brand, along with Patrizio di Marco , chief executive and Giannini's long time partner, at the start of 2015, following a year of declining sales.
An alumnus of Rome’s Fashion Academy, Giannini began her career apprenticing for a small ready-to-wear house before joining Fendi in 1997 as design assistant. Shortly after being promoted to designer of Fendi’s leather goods in 2000, Giannini transferred to Gucci as design director of the label’s handbag line. She was appointed the creative director of accessories in 2004, where the gifted designer assumed control of Gucci’s handbag’s, eyewear, jewellery and silk gifts lines.
Following Tom Ford ’s departure, Giannini was named as creative director of menswear in 2005 and in 2006 assumed responsibility of the womenswear line, rising to sole creative director of the label. The designer has since entered into a number of high profile collaborations, including outfitting singer Florence Welch for her 2011 tour and also designed the costumes for the 2013 release of the film Rush.
In February 2013 Giannini established the Chime for Change organisation in collaboration with Salma Hayek and Beyonce Knowles. Actively involved in several charitable organisations including the Kering Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights, Giannini’s also plays an integral role Gucci’s partnership with Unicef and in 2011 was awarded the inaugural ‘Woman of Compassion’ award by the US Fund for Unicef.