Frida Giannini is an Italian fashion designer; between 2005 and 2015 she was Creative Director at Gucci.
Born in Rome on 1st January 1972, Frida Giannini immediately followed her passion for fashion and studied styling at Accademia Costume e Moda; later she started working in a little clothing company.
In 1997 a turning point arrived in her career: she was called by Fendi, in order to design womenswear accessories. She kept her role until 1999, when the company entrusted her the leather goods Creative Direction, due to her abilities.
Her name was noticed in accessories field, so in 2002 Gucci called her in the team directed by Tom Ford. Frida started working at the bags, core business of the brand: two years later, because of her success, she was appointed Creative Director of accessories. In this role, she was able to show her talent: starting from historical archives of the brand, she reinvented classical prints and modernized them, giving them a new prestige.
The Creative Direction of Gucci
Between 2005 and 2006 she achieved the peak of her career in the Florentine company: she was appointed Creative Director for womenswear and then for menswear too, being able, in this way, to leave her sign in the style of the brand. Under her leadership, Gucci knew a new splendor, thanks to the mix between tradition and innovation. She was also responsible for the restyling of all the concept stores of the brand, whose interiors and furniture were curated by her. Furthermore, she made icons by GG monogram and floral print, revisited in a modern key.
As soon as she arrived at Gucci, the Wall Street Journal put her at the 43th place in its rank of the 50 most influent women in the world: she was the only Italian one. Her influence on the brand was so strong that in 2008 she managed to move the headquarters of the maison from Florence, where the company was born, to Rome, where she was born.
Her tenacity and her undeniable talent made her obtain from Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno the Lupa Capitolina award. She also won the Design Star Honorprize, by Fashion Group International. Moreover, she has always shown a great care to social issues, so Gucci partnered with UNICEF and, in 2011, she was nominated Woman of Compassion.
Frida Giannini is also member of the Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights, which fights against injustices and violence against women.
After Gucci: her career far from spotlights
In the following years Gucci sales became stagnant, so Giannini was criticized because she wasn’t able to create a characteristic style: furthermore, the brand lost its trendsetter status. As a consequence, in December 2014, Gucci announced her layoff. The partnership ended in 2015, when she was replaced by her talented right-hand man Alessandro Michele.
After some partnerships, also with jewelry companies, Giannini moved away from fashion world, to primarily dedicate herself to charity: so, in 2017, she became member of Save the Children Board of Directors.
In 2018 she shortly cam back to fashion and created a Christmas capsule collection, whose sweaters were addressed to a charity project by OVS.
Frida Giannini still confirms her sober, almost austere, style and her passion for brands such as Prada and Dior, which is directer by her friend Maria Grazia Chiuri, who designed, together with Pierpaolo Piccioli (at the time they managed Valentino style office), her wedding dress. Even if she started by saying she didn’t want to speak badly of fashion system, Giannini didn’t hide her chagrin towards some current dynamics: «I had great experiences and I met wonderful people, but today is really different from 4 years ago. There are many dj and few designers. I don’t know if I could still be part of that world».