We all know Gucci. The immaculate designer brand that produces catwalk artistry and combines international fashion influences seamlessly into each and every design. Arguably they produce one of the world's most iconic pairs of flat shoes: The Gucci Horsebit Loafer.
Perhaps the first thing you notice about the shoes is the distinctive snaffle bit detail on the front - inspired by the horse riding culture of the English aristocracy just after the war - when Guccio Gucci, the company's founder, first opened his leather business. The iconic loafer was only launched in 1953 however, by Gucci's son, Aldo. The Gucci loafer became associated with the rich, famous and royal citizens of Western Europe.
The reason why the shoe was so popular? Despite the casual yet subtly sexy look the shoe echoes it was hardy, practical and very comfortable - something that turns any shoe into a best seller, even today. The original was inspired by Native North American Moccasin shoes, the ultimate comfortable shoe. The black leather allowed the opportunity for the wearer to dress the shoes up more formally or casually - would you ever need another pair of shoes if you had a pair of these?
Contemporary fashion calls for constant updates, so although the shell of the loafer has stayed somewhat consistent, there have been changes and 'spin-offs' to the original Horsebit loafer. The Gucci Fur slides have become an icon in their own sense. Loafer in the front, a party in the back... The Lambskin fur adds an element of haute couture and this trans-seasonal shoe has been seen on the likes of celebrities and insta-famous fashion bloggers many a time.
Embroidery was added, color, print and on the occasion the distinctive horsebit was replaced with a double G logo on the outer sides of each shoe. Heels got lower, and higher and sometimes accessories were added onto heels. Pleather finishes substituted traditional leather and the back of the shoe sometimes was left out altogether. Whatever the update, the loafer remains iconic and unmistakeably Gucci.
I'll give you a second to drool over the shoes.
Until next time
- The Traveling Oyster xxx