Reimagined Components: A gold-tone Gucci zipper pull found in a parking lot paired with a vintage lion Master key produced in Milwaukee WI. The fun irony here that we found in this design is that the Gucci tag, meant to be a symbol of luxury and class is roughed up, scraped, and broken off from its original handbag or jacket, whereas the Master key, with its difference in age and utilitarian purposes, happens to be the one in clean, unharmed condition. The design hangs from a 16'' gun metal plated rounded box chain.
Components Found in: Los Angeles CA & Branson MO
The history of Gucci dates back to 1921 when founder Guccio Gucci bought his own shop in Florence, Italy to produce high-end leather travel bags. Gucci was inspired by luxury luggage while working as a bellhop at the famous Savoy Hotel in Paris as he learned about the guests' tastes in fashion, quality, and travel conditions. He later landed jobs with fine luggage maker Franzi and Compagnie des Wagon-Lits, a European rail company that specialized in upscale travel leisure, furthering his expertise and interest of high-end luggage and fashion alike. In 1935, while finally running his own line, the invasion of Ethiopia led the League of Nations to impose a trade embargo on Italy. Because of this, it became much harder for Gucci to acquire leather, which led to the introduction of other materials in his designs such as wicker, wood, raffia, linen and jute.
The company began to really take off with the guidance of Aldo Gucci, Guccio's son, as he led the family towards opening up new factory and store-front locations, along with a wider variety of products such as handbags, belts, gloves, wallets, and even boots for the Italian infantry during WWII. Now, Gucci is one of the most well-known, iconic "geek-chic" fashion brands in the world, even holding two World Records- the Model 2000 Gucci watch selling the most amount of units in 2 years at over a million (1974) and selling the most expensive pair of jeans in history at $3,134 in Milan (1998).
The iconic clothing and accessories fastener went through a series of inventors and patents over a few decades before it made its way to the final form that we all recognize today. The original idea and design came from Elias Howe Jr. (inventor of the sewing machine) in 1851 as the “automatic, continuous clothing closure”, but with the little interest that he received back from his design, Howe opted out of trying to promote it to the masses. 44 years later, inventor Whitcomb Judson released a slightly improved design based off of Howe’s model called the “Clasp Locker” that he took to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair where he since became known as the father of the zipper, though the term “zipper” was not used until the 1930s. The zipper’s greatest debut, though, happened in 1937 at the “Battle of the Fly” event, where French fashion designers favored the zipper over buttons for men’s trousers. Esquire magazine stated that the zipper would “exclude the possibility of unintentional and embarrassing disarray”.
~Keys / Locks~
The right key can unlock the door to a lover’s heart, a new and bright opportunity, a once in a lifetime adventure, a chest of treasure, a deep and dark secret, or even change time itself by the winding of an old grandfather clock…
Historically, Companies like PF Corbin (known for their beautifully engraved “Carded keys”) or the Tower company (1865 founder John Tower) who was responsible for the first metal handcuff, can serve as a reminder that there is beauty in having the key to free ourselves… but taking the first step through the door is entirely up to you… one key, one lock… but what’s on the other side of the door is infinite possibility.
As the traditional Leo totem, the lion is a figure of courage and strength. Legend says that they sleep with open eyes, ready at all times. Primarily a nocturnal animal, the lion is a symbol of authority and command over subconscious thought. In the realm of spirit animals, the lion wins the prize for the most relentless fighter in the face of life challenges. The presence of this power animal can mean that something “wild” or difficult to control is happening. As such, lions symbolize emotions that are difficult to manage, such as anger or fear.
After each artifact or specimen has been discovered it is sent through a careful restoration process before being used in a design. If a particularly unique patina is found to add design value to an artifact, it's preserved & sealed to ensure its longevity & protection.