The former 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 into a commercial powerhouse.
Taking over the company'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. The Italian designer has been oft credited with pioneering the heritage movement within the fashion community.
Giannini exited Gucci, along with Patrizio di Marco, chief executive and Giannini's long-time partner, at the start of 2015, following a year of declining sales. Since her departure, Giannini has turned her full attention to charity work, becoming a board member for Save the Children in 2017. In 2018, she made a brief comeback to fashion creating a Christmas capsule collection of sweaters for a humanitarian project with OVS. In an interview in February 2019, Giannini hinted at the possibility of a return to fashion that year, although no further details were revealed. She has also taken on silent consultancies for luxury brands using her expertise gained from her time at Gucci.
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.
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.
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 also played an integral role in Gucci’s partnership with Unicef.
The recipient of a Design Star’ honour from Fashion Group International, Giannini has also been awarded La Lupa Capitalina by the former mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, and in 2013 was the subject of a documentary film "The Director," produced by James Franco and Christina Voros, which followed Giannini’s artistic process as she prepared for catwalk shows and launches.