For Spring Summer 2010 Frida Giannini presents The New Bamboo, a 21st century reinterpretation of one of Gucci’s most iconic handbag designs. In reinventing this House classic, Giannini blends tradition with high-tech innovation, and history with high-fashion. The New Bamboo, now delineated in a series of unique variations, offers a new sporty attitude and dynamic style that reflects Giannini’s vision of contemporary luxury.
The original Gucci Bamboo bag was a small constructed handbag crafted in pigskin with a curved bamboo handle. First created in 1947, the design became an iconic example of the acumen of Gucci’s craftsmen who were pushed to invent clever solutions to war-time rationing of materials. Bamboo cane, which could still be imported from Japan, was heated and bent into a semi-circle, and affixed as a decorative handle on the pebbled pigskin body. The design, innovative as well as stylistically distinctive, was an instant hit. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, the Gucci Bamboo bag was worn by countless international celebrities, sealing its future fate as one of Gucci’s most beloved and successful handbag creations.
Revisiting this House classic, Giannini has made several modifications which update the bag’s aesthetics while still remaining faithful to the spirit and impeccable craftsmanship of the original. The Gucci New Bamboo is comprised of 140 separate pieces which are hand-assembled by an expert artisan in Gucci’s Florentine workshops. It is crafted in the same manner as the original and requires 13 hours of work to ensure its perfect details.
The bag has now been proposed both in its historical shape as well as in a new, larger scale. The internal construction of the bag is identical to its forebear featuring two pockets (one zip, one button-close) and an interior mirror. Top-stitching has been replaced by sleek raised leather borders on the exterior. For the first time, nickel has been introduced as the hardware for the bag, giving it a cooler touch. Like the original, the bag has a bamboo handle, but it has now been augmented with a long leather strap and a second strap of draped metal chain with a braided base, which adds a sexier touch. Also new are the bamboo fringe tassels.
For the materials, Giannini has chosen a range from the heights of high-tech to the most noble of Gucci traditions. Pigskin, the historical material of the original Gucci Bamboo bag, has been scoured and sprayed grey which gives it a new “stoned” effect. Cellarius, a soft grained calfskin is offered in bright magenta and orange. Both the pigskin and Cellarius versions feature bamboo handles bound in leather straps. The New Bamboo is also featured in a hyper-modern, bonded neoprene featuring the GG logo which has been stamped into the technical fabric. For the ultimate modern luxury, the bag comes in rubberized white or black python. The shaded surface effect of the python which moves from shiny to matte to shiny is a nod to Gucci’s iconic web design.
Several models have also been created as exclusives for Gucci’s own directly operated stores. They include a black crocodile which has been rubberized to give it the same web-influenced shading as the python version, as well as a stoned crocodile in chocolate or cement which has been hand grated to give it a lived-in, sporty look. Also in this group is a shiny crocodile in bold cobalt and magenta, as well as a GG canvas with borders in bright Cellarius or crocodile.
The New Bamboo bag will be available from the end of January 2010. For more information, visit www.gucci.com.