Gucci announced that its relationship with the equestrian world is to be further enhanced by the arrival of American champion show jumper Jessica Springsteen, who joins the House’s team of equestrian ambassadors.
To celebrate this, Frida Giannini, Gucci’s Creative Director, has developed a riding collection especially for Jessica.
This collection marks the fourth year of equestrian activity since Gucci decided to return to the world of horse riding in December 2009, after a 20-year hiatus, when the fashion house assumed the title sponsorship of the Gucci Masters in Paris and also signed a sponsorship agreement with Charlotte Casiraghi for her participation in the Global Championship Tour in both 2010 and 2011.
Now, following on from its ongoing partnership with Charlotte Casiraghi and her friend, show jumper Edwina Tops-Alexander, and the addition of a male ambassador earlier this year in the person of French actor, film director and keen show jumper Guillaume Canet, Gucci welcomes Jessica, and has designed an equestrian collection especially for her. “Jessica is a great horsewoman, with a very exciting and positive riding style,” says Frida Giannini, Gucci’s Creative Director.
“Her passion for horse riding, and show jumping in particular, is something that I can really relate to, as I have been riding ever since I was a little girl. Jessica brings the elegant, dynamic spirit of Gucci alive, and I have ensured that the design of this new wardrobe provides her with pieces that manage to be both technically correct and stylish.”
The creativity and research behind this new wardrobe are a testament to the traditions of Gucci craftsmanship and innovation.
The collection includes technical clothing and accessories for show jumping and training that also epitomise the style and glamour of horse riding. A key feature of the collection is the Gucci crest, which Giannini took from the Gucci archives in 2008 and has reintroduced to the House.
The motif originated in the early 1950s, and features a heraldic shield incorporating the figure of a knight in armour holding a suitcase and handbag in place of a sword and shield. Also present are a ship’s wheel, symbolising entrepreneurial spirit and leadership, and a rose, for beauty and value. The knight is modelled on an image of a bellboy, which was the House’s first ever symbol and references founder Guccio Gucci’s time working at the Savoy Hotel in London.
The reimagining of the bellboy as a knight is a playful combination of ideas of metropolitan travel, high society, Italian nobility and trustworthy craftsmanship. For the new equestrian collection, Giannini has applied the distinctive crest to blazers, rugs and saddle pads. Jessica has personalised the crest on her shirts by adding her initials to the base of the design: J.R.S. Jessica Springsteen says, “I have been riding since I was four years old, and grew up around horses. I love the freedom you feel on horseback, and enjoy the discipline of competition. Riding in the collection that Frida has created for me is an honor and great fun – it combines the best of sport and style.” The core colour of the collection is black, which ties together the look of the various technical materials that have been employed.
All textiles have been carefully selected to ensure resistance, elasticity and performance. Subtle decoration is provided by the House’s iconic web stripe, inspired by the girth strap that holds saddles in place, and created in its green-red-green design in the 1950s. The House’s signature horsebit also makes an appearance as a metal detail on a jacket. Jessica Springsteen will wear her new Gucci riding wardrobe in competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival and when competing in the Global Champions Tour.