I’ve been fostering varied and meaningful (albeit unrequited) internet-based girl-crushes for over half a decade now. I don’t know who Alessandro Michele thinks he is, but he only got the top gig at Gucci in January 2015, and he’s already swooping in and sweeping up all my most beloved ladies.
It started innocently enough, with Chloe Sevigny doing a fantastic editorial in fresh new Gucci threads for Purple Magazine. It was full of motion, bounce and light, and hot dang it was FRESH! So okay, alright, I can get down with that. If your next move is to announce Florence Welsh as the new face of accessories and jewellery for the house, well, you need to break the news to me slowly. To then just steam right ahead and send Petra Collins down the runway and then tell me the “Gucci Geek” girl for the collection was directly inspired by Margot Tenenbaum…
I just don’t know what to do with myself. It’s all too much.
It feels like Michele is communicating to me directly via a kind of Fall 2016 telekinesis.
These women are my idols – both aesthetically and intellectually. Smart women who are super successful, proudly feminist, and rock their own individual styles. Each one is unique, but under the Gucci banner they are unified and even symbiotic. To top it all off – Michele dressed Brie Larson in that incredible blue gown for the Oscars and walked the red carpet beside Jared Leto. Get. Out. Of. Town.
Tom Ford left Gucci in 2004 and let’s just pretend the label was in hibernation between then and Michele’s arrival. Actually, we don’t need to pretend – both financially and sartorially, it was. Michele’s recent arrival has already resulted in Gucci’s best sales in the last 3 years (at least) despite allegedly only having four weeks to put together the now infamous Fall 2016 collection.
I can’t help but draw parallels between Michele’s approach and that taken by Anna Wintour as described in The September Issue. Wintour is the first Vogue editor to acknowledge the power of celebrities and their ability to connect the fashion world to the reader. These days we accept that link and have even come to expect it, but that wasn’t the case when Wintour first started blazing her trail. Michele is doing the same thing, but, in my opinion, it’s a bit more fabulous and a bit more feminist.
It’s that precise kind of fresh perspective you can’t fake.
A graffiti artist from New York called GucciGhost who made a name for himself by spray painting modified double-G symbols all over the city was celebrated rather than sued by the luxury label. His tags were emblazoned upon the leather goods going down the Fall 2016 runway a couple of weeks ago. I think it’s the perfect example of Michele taking a more cerebral approach to the brand. Everything has layers of meaning and everything is political – especially to tertiary-educated young women. If you run a multi-million dollar fashion label and can’t think critically about yourself and your place in the world, you can’t expect to hook anyone younger than Generation X.
He is breaking down the barrier between his muse and his target market.
These women all represent the future. Most people older than 25 haven’t even heard of Petra Collins. I challenge you to find a western woman under 25 who hasn’t. But anyways, go find your own girl-crushes. People keep stealing mine.