Gucci makes 'Forever Now' commitment to UNICEF 'Schools for Africa'
Gucci is pleased to launch its first children's collection and simultaneously extend its longstanding relationship with UNICEF through a US Dollar 1 million pledge to UNICEF's 'Schools for Africa' program.
Conceived by Creative Director Frida Giannini, the new collection - symbolized by the iconic Gucci teddy bear - is divided into two age ranges from 0 to 2 years and 2 to 8 years and will commence with the Spring/Summer 2011 season. The product categories include apparel, shoes, small leather goods, footwear (up to size 33) and selected accessories, including jewelry, sunglasses, scarves and blankets.
The children's collection launch marks six years of Gucci's corporate partnership with UNICEF that has helped to raise more than US Dollars 8 million to date. Gucci is making a 'Forever Now' commitment to UNICEF's 'Schools for Africa' program with a pledge of USD 1 million . 'Schools for Africa' aims to increase access to quality basic education for all children, with a special emphasis on helping the most disadvantaged. This new donation follows on from Gucci's successful annual Holiday campaigns on behalf of UNICEF, the latest of which in 2009 raised more than US Dollars 1 million through sales of a collection of products designed by Frida Giannini, inspired by Michael Roberts' Snowman in Africa children's book.
Patrizio di Marco, President and CEO of Gucci, commented: “We know that Gucci's collaboration with UNICEF has helped produce significant results for children in the last five years, thanks ultimately to the interest and enthusiasm of our customers. We are proud of what has been achieved so far and are committed to ensuring that this partnership continues to be the foundation for our social investments worldwide. We truly believe that education is one of the most important and lasting investments for all children.” “Today the world's leading brands” – continued di Marco – “are rightly judged not just on the quality of their products and services, but also on the way they responsibly act in the community and towards the environment. And the strengthening of the relationship with UNICEF is a fundamental part of our DNA.”
The new children's collection embodies the Gucci spirit, but will not directly reflect the seasonal women's and men's collections, although some of the House's best known icons will be present in the collection as a tribute to the House's rich heritage. Consistent with the values of the brand, the products will be entirely Made in Italy, exclusively produced by Gucci suppliers and realized with the same high standards of quality and craftsmanship for which Gucci has become renowned. Gucci children's eyewear will be manufactured and distributed under license by Safilo.
Frida Giannini, Gucci Creative Director, said “I am especially proud of this collection not only for the new creative challenge and would like to use the opportunity of this launch to reinforce Gucci's commitment toUNICEF by making a USD 1 million pledge for the many children they serve. I visited Malawi last November and saw the difficult situation children face in sub-Saharan Africa where every third child doesn't get the chance to go to school. I saw that UNICEF's Schools for Africa program is successfully giving more children access to a good education, providing a start in life that so many of us take for granted.” Giannini continued, "I also understood even more the importance of getting involved and helping to raise awareness. My hope is that through this new donation we can together touch upon many more lives."