There is a shoe that has remained almost identical through decades, so simple and classy to survive trends but also so iconic to be instantly recognizable.
I’m talking about the classic Gucci horsebit loafer (mocassino), turning 60 this year.
It was 1953 when the horsebit motif, two circular metal elements joined by an horizontal bracket, explicit homage to the equestrian world, made its appearance on a men’s shoe.
It was the beginning of success. Hollywood stars like Clark Gable, John Wayne and Fred Astraire, as well as the main protagonists of Italian “dolce vita”, walking down legendary Via Veneto, began to be spotted wearing Gucci loafers.
A “must have” was born, or, more properly , a “masterpiece“, since the horsebit loafer became part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – propelling this style to become the most iconic Gucci shoe ever made.
These moccasins, however, also have established an invisible primacy that Gucci’s artisans have passed down across generations.
Only selected shoemakers possess the necessary expertise for this highly specialized workmanship: in the loafer construction the insole is absent, so that the shoe is light, pliable and comfortable.
Horsebit loafer are currently available in a wide selection of shades and materials: from precious leathers such as python and crocodile to the canvas printed with the House’s Flora pattern, to suede and leather with studs.