By Adrienne Papp
In the very competitive world of couture design, it’s rare to find a fresh talent with a unique take on the ever-changing world of fashion.
Once in a generation someone outstanding comes along with an exciting new line that blends tradition and creativity in a unique way. A new rarity, a limited edition of 99 extraordinary bags in three different models, is the creation of Alessandra Gucci, a flamboyant talent and vivacious entrepreneur who is taking accessories in a brilliant new direction with her first collection of purses.
Alessandra is boldly taking a never before direction while maintaining the tradition of one of the strongest names in the history of couture.
Yes, Alessandra is directly related to the famous Gucci family and the House of the Gucci fashion empire. She’s quick to add though that her business is completely separate and not related to the iconic Italian company, even though her grandfather and father served as inspirations for two of her three models that are part of the AG Limited Editions collection, called ‘The First.’
‘I loved to follow my grandfather and father in the shop or the production department,’ Alessandra says. ‘I learned by watching them create bags, mixing high quality, beauty and tradition all together.’
Alessandra’s new company, AG Limited Editions, is the result of her desire to connect to her family tradition and also produce innovative designs inspired by her own creativity. With her inherited artistic sensibility and passion, and a university degree in Business Economics, Alessandra decided it was time to make her own statement in the fashion world and create something that would establish her identity as a creative designer. ‘I also wanted to let the world know that “Made in Italy” is back and something to be proud of,’ she says.
The inspiration for her first line was a book on botany that depicted floral designs in unique and vibrant ways, portraying an effect that was ‘chromatically stimulated.’ She began to experiment and invented a new procedure of manual dyeing, which is used for every piece of her new collection. As she worked with alligator leather, she found it reacted to the process very uniquely. It is the irregularity of the colors, and unique shading and nuances produced in her process that makes each AG design a one-of-a-kind. Through this process, each purse becomes an individual work of art, with Alessandra participating directly in every phase of the creation. The models that make up her first line are interpreted with the colors ‘Pink’, ‘Jungle’ and ‘Blue’ produced by the innovative dyeing process.
Each AG bag is made by hand, the leather treated and shaped using Alessandra’s unique dyeing process and old world artisanal methods. ‘I am working with artisans who have 100 years of experience,’ she says. ‘They were friends of my family and now I am working very closely with them.’ The final result is a line of luxury leather goods combining tradition, quality and innovation.
The three models reflect her family’s traditional roots, her father, and her own contemporary personal vision. ‘Each of the bags is unique and numbered. I wanted to keep the first collection very special, very small,’ Alessandra says.
Dedicated to her grandfather, ‘Rodolfo’ is the model that interprets the roots of her family. It reflects classic beauty and Old World artisanal craftsmanship. Alessandra’s ‘Maurizio’ designs are named after her father, and are a tribute to the evolution of tradition, a passage from one generation to another. Alessandra uses her name on the third design, taking a whimsical barrel shape and reinventing it through the exotic alligator leather. The result contrasts fun with handcrafted luxury in a contemporary design reflecting Alessandra’s personality. For every model there are only 11 pieces available, each one unique and completely constructed and crafted by hand.
Alessandra’s AG designs essentially redefine the alligator bag, remaking it into something that can be worn with jeans or a black suit or evening dress, and each model is accented with colorful handmade Swarovski crystals.
And this first line of exotic alligator bags is just the starting point for Alessandra. ‘Shops who handle my first line of bags will also be the ones who get my second line. I would like to develop a relationship with my dealers internationally, and continue to grow with them.’
Based in St Moritz, Switzerland, her collection is currently available at high-end locations in Milan, St. Moritz, Lugano, Paris and Moscow, and she is in talks with an expanding network of dealers in key cities throughout the world. With any luck, they will be coming to exclusive boutiques in New York and Los Angeles soon.
‘I want to keep improving and find my specialty niche. My next collection may again special handbags, but different from ‘The First’ collection, then future creations maybe leather gloves, or shoes,’ Alessandra adds. ‘It is time for me to develop my ideas and share them. I am taking everything one step at a time, making sure that everything is of the highest quality. Anyone who buys my bags can be proud that they are the owner of one hundred years of Italian artisan experience.’
Image courtesy of Guido Harari