Frida Giannini, the ultra-confident blonde bombshell who has been at the helm of Gucci since 2006, was a shy brown mouse when she first assumed the role of creative director of the luxury fashion brand.
In an interview with Elle magazine - whose October issue Giannini has guest edited - Gucci's accessories designer turned creative director, reveals how she was once so crippled with shyness at a celebrity dinner in Los Angeles at which she was seated with Oscar winning actor, Adrian Brody and music legend, Stevie Wonder, that she couldn't even bring herself to say a single word.
'Everything was so giant for me' she confesses.
But then, on February 6, 2008, everything changed.
"There was a moment when everything clicked," she explains.
Frida and Madonna were co-hosting a star-studded Unicef event in the grounds of the United Nations New York HQ, (which incidentally raised more than £3
million for children in sub-Saharan Africa exposed to HIV/Aids), attended by Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Mary J Blige and James Franco.
"It was the moment I realised I could have fun - that is the key word, fun.
"I had to organise everything with Madonna at her house in London. We met to discuss dishes, forks, candles, flowers. But then she had this idea to bring over statues from Malawi,' says Frida.
But Frida, it seemed, had other ideas, and no singer-songwriter/actress/director/entrepreneur/superstar/control-freak was going to get in the way of her vision.
"I didn't want to be so literal," declares Frida.
Which, according to Jenny Galimberti, Gucci's head of UK communications, led Frida to say something to Madonna along the lines of, 'Just because I am from Rome does not mean I want to build the Colosseum in every location that I go to!'
And that was it. The statues stayed in Malawi and since conquering the Material Girl, Giannini has never looked back.
If Madonna's latest incarnation as a film director doesn't pan out, perhaps she should consider opening a practice?-BY Belinda White | 06 September 2011