Gucci, one of the world’s foremost luxury brands, is to sponsor the final Grand Prix of the 2012 Global Champions Tour series in Abu Dhabi. The partnership between GCT and Gucci brings together the world’s most prestigious show jumping circuit and a global fashion house with a strong equestrian heritage.
The outcome of the Global Champions Tour Gucci Grand Prix, with €400,000 in prize money, will decide the overall winner of the 2012 season. The high stakes championship race has gone down to the wire, setting up the most dramatic showdown since the Tour was launched in 2006.
Gucci will launch its first-ever Pop-up retail store in the Middle East at the GCT event in Abu Dhabi where visitors can enjoy shopping between classes. The temporary boutique alongside the Al Forsan arena will feature products from Gucci’s beautiful new Equestrian collection and a range of handbags and accessories. There will also a Gucci artisan corner which brings the craftsmanship of Gucci’s Florentine leather goods factory directly to its clientele. In this exclusive event, Gucci’s craftsmen will be at custom-built workshops where visitors will have a unique view of time-honoured traditions where some of Gucci’s most iconic handbags and shoes are assembled and finished with meticulous attention to detail.
Gucci CEO and President Patrizio di Marco will host an exclusive dinner to celebrate the conclusion of the GCT 2012 championship in Abu Dhabi. Charlotte Casiraghi, who wears an exclusive riding wardrobe designed by Gucci and is Honorary President of GCT Monaco, will also attend the dinner.
GCT President Jan Tops said: “I am delighted that Gucci is sponsoring the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, which promises to be one of the most dramatic finishes to a GCT season. The sophisticated lifestyle that surrounds our equestrian sport makes it a natural partner with one of the world’s foremost luxury brands.”
(photo credit: Sportfot/GCT)
Stylish equestrian sports like show jumping have a strong synergy with luxury brands. In an interview with GCT Life Magazine, Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini, a keen horsewoman, spoke of her delight at discovering the many equestrian influences in the Gucci archive and how she uses these for design inspiration today. The latest international collections have reflected the enduring influence of the equestrian look and lifestyle on fashion and accessories. Brands like Gucci are world famous for equestrian motifs on its beautiful leather handbags and accessories such as the stirrup, the snaffle bit and the green red green web inspired by a girth.
The final event of 2012 takes place for the second year in a row in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Current Champion Edwina Tops-Alexander, who also wears an exclusive Gucci riding wardrobe, was the winner of GCT 2011 and has led the championship since the start of the series. After the 11th leg of the GCT series Edwina and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson are on equal points at the top of the GCT ranking board setting up a truly grand finale in Abu Dhabi.
Eurosport, which broadcasts to 130 million homes in 59 countries, will broadcast the Global Champions Tour Gucci Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi the 24th of november. All classes during GCT Abu Dhabi can be seen on the live stream at www.globalchampionstour.com/gct-live