>> Frida Giannini feels the heat from fashion critics whenever she presents a new Gucci collection — her Spring 2009 collection earned comparisons to Zara, and the Fall 2009 collection to Bebe, but judging from two recent conversations she had with The Times (UK), she doesn't seem to mind. “I’m not criticised by all the world — it is a very small niche of people. And I will never change for them. I want to stay close to my thoughts. When someone wants to offend me by saying I’m copied by the high street — well, for me, it’s a huge compliment.”
Despite the allegations that she's taken the brand too commercial, Frida vows that she's not caught up in all the celebrity-obsessed hubbub; she's more focused on keeping the $2.2 billion turnover she's cultivated for the brand.
She cares so little about celebrities, there were no red carpet gowns in the runway show.
“I didn't want to show long evening dresses this time because it's not about the Oscars any more. I don't want to waste our time designing something that at the last minute might not get worn. Anyway, celebrities just aren't my obsession. Some are really damaged by their stylists as well — and there's no loyalty to a brand. Audrey Hepburn's style was really defined by Givenchy, but now actresses wear anything and everything, and that can damage a brand too. I'm more interested in talking to real women.”
Sometimes I think that I'm living on the moon." »
Her employees agree — the designs are more than just Zara.
"I wish people that could see the clothes close up,” said one staffer, guiding me past the rails of crystal-smothered tunics that were in the show. “People think it's all about disco but . . .” she strokes one leather jacket with the consistency of clotted cream, “the workmanship is unbelievable.” She shrugs.
She loves that her job allows her to "play."
“I wake up in the morning, listen to the news which says the world's coming to an end. Then I come to work and play with fur and crocodile. Sometimes I think that I'm living on the moon.”
And she's entirely devoted to it.
“I’ve always seen myself as a mother one day, but not in this moment. I have other priorities, other things to do.”
But she's not so keen on the joys of flying solo.
“Private planes,” she wrinkles her nose. “I'm terrified. I fidget like a mosquito when I'm on them and go completely white.”