Beyond a Shadow of Doubt 

he past and present collide for Gucci’s latest essential accessory. Commanding in structure and archival in inception, the Aphrodite shoulder bag is influenced by archival silhouettes with delicate leatherwork and gold-accented details taking the iconic ‘70s style to a new dimension

It was 1937 when Walter Benjamin wrote to Hannah Arendt: “the cords in my throat neigh with impatience to confront Yours.” The quote–in a story in which quotations carry the fragile balance between life and death–encapsulates the friendship between two thinkers who had been brought together by a shared destiny of exile. 

Ayanna Negi wears all clothing and accessories GUCCI
Dahan Oanh wears all clothing and accessories GUCCI

Gucci paid homage to the two with a celestial collection, presented against the backdrop of the historic location of Castel del Monte in Italy last May. Cosmogonie was not only a reference to Benjamin’s longing to connect the past and the present in constellations of thoughts, but it was also an invitation to seek the luminous paths in our own lives. 

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The new crescent-shaped Gucci shoulder bag, first shown on the Cosmogonie runway, wants to recreate that same philosophy. Inspired by the House’s archives, the bag is crafted in soft leather and it features the Double G emblem, a code originally introduced in the 1970s. In conversation with the brand’s heritage, Gucci proves that the befores and the afters can come together in constellations that are yet to be explored and that have, nonetheless, the power to break traditions. 

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Benjamin took his own life while he was trying to flee Europe in the early 1940s. The reason behind his suicide was explained years later, in 1968, in an essay written by his friend, Arendt. After his library and many of his manuscripts had been confiscated by the Gestapo, “how was he to live without a library, how could he earn a living without his extensive collection of quotations,” she asked. 

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Gucci’s Cosmogonie collection aims at recovering those quotations, overcoming distances, and finding reasons to be together among things that would otherwise tear us apart. 

Coral Johnson wears all clothing and accessories GUCCI


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