It is now 95 years old and is younger than ever. That’s right! Gucci has regained the sort of vitality that only Tom Ford was capable of doing, turning it into the hottest brand of the moment.
Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci has reborn. And this new romantic and extravagant aesthetic has caused an impact that goes far beyond the number of sales. From the colourful sparkles to the patched jeans, from classic to streetwear, Gucci has chosen the generation that it wants to dress: the one that has replaced the blazer with the hoodie, the stiletto with sneakers and that completely transformed the idea of formality. It blends itself with rappers and illustrators, inspiring us to be more daring, and now surprises us with their combinations, celebrating mixture and diversity.
Even though Gucci Woman presents itself as young, Alessandro Michele goes back to the previous generations to find his inspiration for the accessories and colours with which he paints those he dresses. These generations regarded the ritual of dressing oneself as much more than the combination of different pieces. The brand’s creative director has made the covers of the most prominent fashion issues with the Spring/Summer feminine collection for 2016 and, from that moment onwards, sewed the success that the brand is experiencing today. His designs are more than hallowed pieces: he enchanted celebrities, bloggers, purchasers and editors, inviting them to forget the previous notions of the brand and, as a consequence, his work quickly moved from the runways and magazines to the red walkways and the street. Particularly to the street.
Gucci knew how to capitalize on this growth, relying more and more on celebrities as ambassadors of the brand and vice versa. In this era we live in, the brand became a digital trampoline. Examples such as Cate Blanchett, Harry Styles, Jared Leto, Nicole Kidman, A$AP Rocky are among many who wear and invest in the brand for perfection. Androgynous silhouettes, prints with jewellery texture, are some of the new trademark images that Gucci has been using lately.
Its popularity is also justified by the way it captures the glance and the mind. And don’t let yourself be fooled, this has nothing to do with political statements. Alessandro creates his collections with the sole aim of having and having fun. He reintroduced Gucci’s logo on clothing because he knows this a sales-prompting element. He placed it in more affordable pieces and accessories precisely to give the opportunity to any mortal being to wear the brand without having to purchase the haute couture, being proud of wearing it.
It’s not by luck that we’ve been seeing it more than ever before, from 8 to 80, the iconic t-shirt simply shouting the brand’s name. Alessandro joined the street artists and illustrators, such as the UnskilledWorker or Trevor “Trouble” Andrew and this is proof that Alessandro’s Michelism will endure, because he knows how to live in his time, just like Phoebe Philo revolutionized Céline, like Robson transformed Vetements and Demna Gvasalia overturned Balenciaga. “Everyone who ever felt like a weird kid, or too smart to be popular, or totally out of sync with the jocks can wear Gucci and feel like they’re finally cool.” – are the sort of comments which can be read on the brand’s Instagram.
And this sort of integration can be found from the keyboard to Beyoncé’s video, for the track Formation, where the singer wears the brand from the beginning to the end of the video. Michele’s ability to mishmash global trends with classic lines is fascinating, with a few touches of humour, western, peasant, cinematic, gypsy, Asian, theatre and animal, and all this is mixed in absurd, much more than nonsense, amazing looks.
In conversation with Vogue, Michele admits that he does not think in terms of fashion, rather in terms of attitude and this is where he finds his aesthetic sense and the major challenge for an old and charming brand like Gucci.
Gucci paved the way for different forms of self-expression, gender identity, and therefore, all generations are now closer to a brand that encourages us to be vain for ourselves and not just for the sake of exhibitionism. Michele wants us to have fun, sing, he wants us to feel like we are part of a Wes Anderson’s coloured movie.
And here is the lesson: each time we use Gucci or any other piece of clothing, we should remember that freedom and self-expression are two timeless accessories. And nowadays that is what suits us quite well.