The Latest Cult Gucci Piece Was Actually Designed 100 Years Ago by an Old Duke

Gucci has a habit of creating cult buys, but the latest buzzy item it launched this month was actually designed 100 years ago by a late duke. Back in September, iPhones lifted when a model walked down the runway wearing a black jumper with the words “never marry a Mitford” stitched across the front in red. You might think a designer like Bella Freud started the slogan jumper trend, but it was perhaps the 11th Duke of Devonshire, who resided at Chatsworth House, who started wearing his feelings in bold letters on his chest.


(Image credit: Getty)

He ordered bespoke navy blue wool jumpers from cricket outfitter Lord's with sharp phrases such as “Life’s a bitch and then you die,” “all passion spent” and “never marry a Mitford” written across the front in white lettering. The last is perhaps his finest slogan because the Duke did, in fact, marry a Mitford—the youngest sister, Deborah. If you're wondering how these jumpers made it onto the Gucci runway, creative director Alessandro Michele has a strong tie with Chatsworth House. Gucci sponsored an exhibition there called House Style in 2017 (which included 15 of these jumpers), and the spring/summer 2017 ad campaign fronted by Vanessa Redgrave was also shot at Chatsworth. 

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Opening Image: Getty

Emma Spedding