Iconography is cultivated by adaptation. Deconstructed, reconstructed or rendered in infinite colours and forms, eternal emblems of heritage are invigorated through interpretation.
On the occasion of the Gucci Spring-Summer 2024 Men’s Collection at Milan FashionWeek, Gucci presents an expansive showcase in celebration of an icon: the Gucci Horsebit Loafer.
Titled Gucci Horsebeat Society, the immersive event marks 70 years since the creation of the emblematic Horsebit Loafer through installations featuring ten international artists, designers and creatives. It provides a framework for the static presentation of the Men’s Collection. Brought to life at Spazio Maiocchi, the multi-faceted exhibition will be unveiled on 16 June 2023 from 6pm to 10pm in a cocktail by invitation only. The space will be open to the public from 17–18 June from 10am to 6pm.
Curated by Alessio Ascari, the Milan-based creative director and curator of Spazio Maiocchi, the exhibition is a multi-disciplinary experience exploring the iconography of the Horsebit Loafer through transformative reinterpretations combining fashion, art and audio-visual elements. The event includes a durational performance by the Spanish artist and choreographer Candela Capitán, and a program of DJ sets by the legendaryParisian electronic music label Ed Banger.
The Gucci Spring Summer 2024 Men’s Collection re-contextualises the historical signifiers of the House – from the Horsebit to the GG Canvas and the Gucci Web – in an amplified take on its classic men’s wardrobe. The proposal is unveiled in a static presentation as part of Gucci Horsebeat Society, a three-day showcase at Spazio Maiocchi featuring commissions by ten artists centred around the Horsebit Loafer. Echoing the three-dimensional visual language of the exhibition, the collection evolves the iconography of Gucci through state-of-the-art luxury craftsmanship and construction.
The premise takes shape in a more-than-meets-the-eye sensibility: summer-centric compositions simplified in appearance but realised through intricate and intriguing techniques and fabrications. Augmented silhouettes transform the classic proportions of menswear essentials. Prints and textures play with optical illusions. The palette reimagines the heritage colours of the House. Bowling sets composed of Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts lightly oversized in cut adapt the Gucci emblems: a digitally enhanced Horsebit pattern has a glasslike effect; the weave of GG boucle appears three-dimensional; and a Horsebit collage print by the Australian graphic designer Ed Davis is presented in a room wallpapered in the same motif.
Informed by the archives, sharp double-breasted suits with bootcut trousers integrate the Horsebit motif into a traditional Prince of Wales check and the weaves of red or ivory jacquards. Workwear treated with intensified savoir-faire hybdrises dress codes: a GG- printed nubuck leather jacket and trouser posing as a denim suit; a laser-discharged denim suit adorned in a warped GG print; or a washed denim suit thermo-encrusted with micro mosaic mirror tiles. The silver effect is imitated in the metallic GG weave of a windbreaker, while a caped windbreaker interweaves the GG and the Gucci Web triband in a satin jacquard. The symbols of Gucci evolve in a mariner knit structured from the GG and the Gucci Web.
The timeless GG Marmont belt embellishes a season proposal largely styled with the classic Horsebit Loafer, first launched by Aldo Gucci in 1953. It is joined by a new magnified adaptation: a bolder, rubber-soled take on the same loafer silhouette. Cementing a summer sentiment, 3D-printed rubberised slides with the debossed GG reinforce the collection’s techy persuasion.
The Horsebit graces a series of bags suspended between tradition and innovation: the Horsebit 1955 bag appears in its original form; a GG satchel is re-energised with a three-dimensional Horsebit pattern; a camera bag is debossed with the motif; and a large canvas tote bag from the archives is revived with a stamped-out three-dimensional Horsebit emblem. Twisting the familiar, a separate tote bag is interpreted in semi- transparent glossy GG canvas, while a waterproof duffle diving bag underline a summer mood alongside a lacquered longboard with a GG-patterned grip.