No, it has nothing to do with the Italian fashion label. But it does have everything to do with clothes; more precisely, the lack of them.
In North America, the 1970’s was a transformative era, especially when it came to sexuality.
Unlike the 60’s when “free love” was associated with the “degenerate” hippy movement, the 70’s brought sex into the mainstream.
Amplified by social progressive values and a willingness on the part of “ordinary” couples to experiment, the hedonistic 70’s were a time of drugs, parties and open marriages.
It was also the golden age of porn.
Ushered in part by films like Behind the Green Door and Deep Throat pornographic films accounted for a large part of the overall total box office receipts in the U.S. And in this pre-internet era, pornographic magazine were flying off the shelf.
Born in Brooklyn, Bob Guccione first published Penthouse in England in 1965. His lack of financial resources forced Guccione to photograph the models himself. He called them Gucci Girls.
As a photographer, he lacked professional training but instead applied his knowledge of painting to establish a diffused, soft focus aesthetic that would later become the trademark of 70’s erotica.
The Guccione Collection website sums it up like this “ This is how the empire began. Black and white photos, taken by a man calling himself “Robert Gucci”, printed in a British newspaper more than 50 years ago. To be one of the fortunate recipients of these pictures required a personal letter – written, stamped and mailed along with two quid – to Mr. Gucci himself, specifying the preferred girl.
Bob Guccione’s Gucci Girls helped him become one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Recently the Guccione Collection, a website founded by entrepreneur Jeremy Frommer and “dedicated to the life and art of Mr. Guccione,” brought back the Gucci Girl in a series of photos, videos and lingerie.
Here’s a peek at a recent photo shoot as documented by Vice magazine.
And if you wanna learn more about the man himself, you can check out the brand new documentary about Bob Guccione titled Filthy Gorgeous: the Bob Guccione Story which is currently playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox (after it’s successful post-festival run.)
Here’s a trailer.[like] [tweets]