Mention the name Gucci and I think sexy, plastic and glossy. But it’s all over now. The brand’s new director Alessandro Michele came up with a radically different campaign. The question is: will Gucci lose its identity?
Gucci’s Pre/Fall 2015 Campaign radiates a whole new feel. Alessandro Michele released a romantic, soft and minimal series of images by photographer Glen Luchford, with styling by Joe McKenna.
Models Julia Hafstrom and Jack Chambers look both natural and sensual, sitting on a vintage couch. I felt a bit frustrated because I couldn’t glimpse Chambers’ face in the campaign: he is either cropped of the image, or he is slipping off his jumper. But there is something erotic to it. Michele has managed to keep Gucci’s sexy identity, but in a subtle way.
It’s also interesting to note that the Pre-Fall collection shown in the campaign was the last under Frida Giannini’s direction. This campaign is therefore a reinterpretation of Frida’s designs by Alessandro Michele. I wonder what the campaign would have looked like if Frida had worked on it all the way to the end?
Tom Ford took care of Gucci for a decade; he revived the Italian fashion house and made it the international brand it is today. When he left in 2005, Frida Giannini took over. But when Gucci’s profitability went down she had to take the emergency exit without her final bow. There is a lot more to say about the Italian fashion house’s history, so don’t hesitate to check out our Masters Of Photography, Vol. 34, Italians for the whole story.
To be honest, I never really understood Frida’s vision of Gucci. The campaigns were so glitzy and sexed-up they looked cheap. And if sales declined, it’s because the creations weren’t all that great… But if you’re the creative director of Gucci and the CEO is your partner, who is going to tell you you’re not doing the right thing? Gucci made the smart choice by giving the brand a big shake-up, and the result is striking.
When I look at this campaign, I think ‘I could wear that dress’. I’m not sure I would have thought the same thing if the campaign had been all ‘glossexy’. It just proves how much influence fashion campaigns hold on our perceptions of beauty and taste.
With radical change come radical reactions. Those who loved Frida’s ideal of Gucci may not be happy with Alessandro Michele’s vision. There are already a lot of positive and negative reactions popping on fashion websites and social media.
Some may claim that the brand is losing its identity, but sometimes, you just need change. As far as I’m concerned, this campaign is a fresh take on a stagnating visual. Gucci is slowly but surely getting its cool back, and I’m looking forward to see more of Michele’s work.
What are your thoughts on Gucci’s new look?