As Gucci struts towards its centenary, the top Italian fashion label is celebrating its 90th year in style with the release of a new book and the inauguration of the Gucci museum in the heart of Florence.
The 384-page book, entitled 'Gucci: The Making Of', will feature over 700 images of their haute-couture clothes, bags and other accessories, some of which have never been published. The book is available in English, Italian, French and German and will be sold at Gucci stores and online (www.gucci.com).
The luxury edition will explore the fashion statements and innovations that characterise the world-renowned Gucci label, which has become synonymous with glamour and elegance.
It will also feature writings on the iconic images that have assisted in making Gucci a landmark name, such as the green and white ribbon, the distinctive, double-G monogram and the Flora motif.
The book, published by Rizzoli, will provide an insight into the life of the fashion house's founder, Guccio Gucci, from his humble beginnings to the creation of a fashion empire.
Gucci's grew up in Florence. His fashion inspiration gained steam while working at London's Savoy hotel. The book also describes his marriages and his grandson Paolo's ultimate betrayal.
Edited by Gucci's creative director Frida Giannini, the book is a comprehensive account of the prestigious brand's rise to spectacular success, an A-Z for Gucci fashionistas to feast upon.
Part of the book's profits will go to UNICEF's Schools for Africa initiative.
The Gucci Museum was recently opened inside the splendid 14th-century Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence's Piazza della Signoria.
The 18,500 square-foot exhibition space, conceived by Giannini, is housed on three floors and spans nine decades.
On display are men's and women's casual and formal clothing, handbags, travel cases, sunglasses, coats and jewellery.
"Ever since my first visit to the archive when I joined Gucci nine years ago, I have felt a deep commitment to the house's legacy and have wanted to expose the rich archive in celebration of the remarkable narrative behind so many of our iconic products and motifs," says Giannini. "As Gucci turns 90 this year, I felt it was the right moment to inaugurate our own space, where hidden treasures would be open to public viewing for the first time.
"In this way the Gucci Museum will both conserve and celebrate the most significant moments in the history of the house, providing an official account of its origins, evolution and cultural influence," concludes Giannini. Gucci has launched its special 1921 Collection - inspired by its greatest fashion hits through the decades - as part of the celebrations.
The exclusive range includes the New Bamboo, the New Jackie and horse-bit chain handbags . "The Gucci Museum is also a tribute to our hometown," explains Patrizio di Marco, Gucci's president and CEO.
"Although Gucci is a truly international company, we absolutely remain a Florentine success story".
"We owe much of our success to the traditions, skills and innovation of our local artisans, who proudly represent the values of the Made in Italy label," says di Marco.
Among the many celebrities that have been seen sporting Gucci products are Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly and Princess Diana.