By Booth Moore
Los Angeles Times.
On a recent afternoon at Gucci’s newly remodeled Rodeo Drive flagship, creative director Frida Giannini is looking very at home in L.A.
She’s wearing a colorful patchwork print silk blouse from the label’s forthcoming spring collection, a pair of perfectly faded Gucci boyfriend jeans and metallic platform sandals that hint at her love of all things David Bowie and 1970s.
This is the look of Giannini’s Gucci now: everyday luxe.
“Evening gowns are an incredible market for us,” she says during an interview in the store’s lush new third-floor VIP suite, built for celebrity dressing, with crystal-embroidered gala gowns hanging nearby. “But for me, it’s important to have special items in each collection that you can keep in your closet for years. I call them essentials, but they are still objects of desire.”
Under construction for two years, the remodeled boutique at 347 Rodeo Drive announces itself in gold and crystal, with a sparkling facade.
Walking in, the first thing a visitor notices in the center atrium is a massive two-story LED screen, used to display a variety of content, including runway show footage and an animated film that features Gucci’s newly reworked Flora print, updated with moodier blooms by Toronto-based visual artist Kris Knight.
The screen represents the way luxury brands have evolved from makers of finely crafted goods to multimedia companies with hands in filmmaking, visual art, philanthropy and more.
“I remember 10 years ago when we were working on the fashion campaigns, it was just (photos), that’s it,” says Giannini, 41, who joined Gucci as a handbag designer in 2002 and was elevated to creative director of the entire brand in 2006. “Now, we spend many days doing videos, banners, something for Facebook and Instagram. This LED screen in the store symbolizes the modernity of the technology we’re working with; we’re all communicating in a new way.”