Former creative director of Gucci and well-known American designer Tom Ford is back at the brand he helped re-invent in the 1990s and walked out of 12 years ago. In a sense that is. The Italian luxury house’s museum in Florence has dedicated two of its rooms to Ford, memorializing the way in which he ushered in the label into the 21st century.
Ford, who joined Gucci in 1990, is credited with imbuing the brand with a distinctive, provocative look. These rooms celebrate that sensibility with sensual decor surrounding the designer’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections. This space is like a personal tribute, as Gucci’s current creative director Alessandro Michele was hired by Ford to join the brand in 2002.
In 2011, Gucci ended its year-long 90th anniversary celebration with the opening of an exquisite museum in the Palazzo della Mercanzia, located in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria.
The Gucci Museo has three floors dedicated to recounting the brand’s story through permanent exhibits. The exhibits are also a reflection of the emerging need for luxury brands to justify their high price points, given the current state of the economy, and give them a place in fashion history.
One of the Tom Ford rooms showcases ready-to-wear collections for men and women. It is decorated in cherry red from floor to ceiling. Orchids adorn the heads of the dress forms, which collectively form a fashionable array.
The accessories room is outfitted in pinks and mauves. Exhibited in glass cases are bags, shoes and accessories symbolizing the marriage of sexuality with luxury, amply noticed in the brand’s look during Ford’s time. A dog collar, handcuffs and a G-string with the GG logo are included. Michele curated the looks on display, picking outfits from runway shows that were the most iconic and influential for the house during Ford’s era.