Madonna And George Bush Wore This Shoes. Now, Gucci Is Celebrating 70th Years..

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the distinctive shoe that has become a part of fashion history and is recognizable by its metal snaffle flourish. A pair of them entered the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection in 1984 because they are so well-known.

In mid-June this year, corresponding with the menswear shows at Milan Design Week, Gucci will arrange an exhibition celebrating the legacy of its signature loafer.

Since its creation in 1953, the shoe has been worn in the White House (By George Bush, in 1974), on the promenade of Cannes (Birkin, 1969). Surprisingly, on red carpets Wiz also wore a couple to the Golden Globe Awards in 2016.

Other notable wearers include “The Godfather” director Francis Ford Coppola, Sophia Loren, Monégasque royal Charlotte Casiraghi, Madonna (who donned a platform version to receive her MTV VMA award for Best Female Video in 1995), Jodie Foster, Brad Pitt during a scene in 1999’s “Fight Club” and, more recently, actor Zoe Kravitz and model Gigi Hadid.

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Interestingly, this simple slip-on turned out to be a highly sought-after desired fashion pair in the last part of the 1890’s. Guccio Gucci, the founder of the Italian fashion house, started his career as a luggage porter at The Savoy hotel in London during that time.

Gucci was able to get a close-up look at the upper classes of society here. It gave him a glimpse into the lives of the world’s elite: a priceless record of their values and willingness to spend money.

Gucci was impressed by the aristocrats, artists, and other wealthy guests at The Savoy’s lifestyle and hobbies; his own brand would later adopt a distinct equestrian aesthetic.

He opened a small leather goods store in Florence, Italy, in 1906. Soon after, he started making travel trunks and other items that would become the brand’s signature products. A faithfully reworked version of the brand’s 1947 bamboo top handle bag is still available for purchase.

In 1953, just a few weeks after his sons Aldo, Rodolfo, and Vasco opened the first Gucci flagship store in New York, Gucci passed away. Aldo created the horsebit loafer in the same year, inspired by his beloved equine designs, with the intention of attracting the same customers Guccio had encountered at The Savoy.

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Even though they were typically worn for occasions that were more casual, loafers were already a popular choice of footwear in the 1950s. Aldo made use of the slip-on fashion’s widespread appeal by elevating the design with the snaffle bit detail. It still serves as an aspirational status symbol, a nod to equestrian lifestyles.

The versatility of Gucci’s horsebit loafers may be the key to their continued popularity, which has spanned a wide range.

There are the money types, who pair the loafers with custom-made suits, procuring them the epithet “deal sleds” for their mythologized capacity to impart confidence on Wall street trading floors. The subversive cool girls, on the other hand, consciously juxtapose the conservative shoe with Hawaiian shirts, gold chains, and baggy jeans.

The brand’s Fall-Winter 2015 collection, in which then-creative director Alessandro Michele reintroduced the signature item with a few twists, sparked the latter’s spirit of experimentalism.

His “Princetown” style had no back, was available in baby pink leather, wool tweed, or embroidered cloth, and was controversially lined with kangaroo fur (which was quickly replaced with lamb fur). It was a long ways from the first, however while some mobilized against the use of fur, others blessed it the buzziest shoe of 2015.

70 years since its creation, the shoe has substantiated itself a commendable venture and respected closet staple. Thanks to the smörgåsbord of renowned figures seen wearing them — as well as the innumerable impersonations they have roused.

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