Gucci-Guilty: A Collaboration of the Divine

Gucci re-released their perfume Gucci Guilty with the new campaign #foreverguilty, at the beginning of this year.

Their new series of marketing is eclectic, amusing and absolutely on-brand. And to make everything even more perfect, Lana Del Rey joins Jared Leto as the new faces of Gucci. The hype is well deserved. It’s hard to think of Gucci making the face of their latest perfume anyone but these two artistic, talented individuals. Alongside this campaign, Gucci saw their online traffic increase by 130% in 2017 and have been making record sales. Since Alessandro Michelle became Creative Director in 2015, the brand has been jumping from success to success. 

But what exactly is it that Gucci is doing right? 

Breaking the mould of just being expensive, ‘luxury’ and two Gs on a shiny leather bag, Gucci has redefined its look, its image and its angle. Alessandro Michelle, responsible for both Gucci’s collections and world image, has created a look that is striking yet romantic, remaining desirable while unobtainable – a kind of brand renaissance, reversing Gucci’s two-year slump in sales. Departing from its stereotype as an Italian fashion house, even becoming known for its ‘tackiness’, it has been infused with modernity and fresh ideas. 

Gucci has even embraced its ‘tackiness’ by collaborating with Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and Sega. Their new ‘Chinese New Year Capsule’ features Disney’s Three Little Pigs plastered all over their clothing and accessories. It’s a kind of ugly beauty; Gucci wants to show expensive clothes can be playful, too.   

Even down to their new packaging, Gucci has invigorated its brand with allure and a sense of indulgence. Every last detail is accounted for. It makes sense that they’ve relaunched Gucci Guilty by partnering with celebrities that absolutely nail their new aesthetic. Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto have that same dark, romantic, eclectic glamour throughout all their own personal work. This collaboration was teased at the Met Gala back in 2018, with Leto, Del Rey and Michelle joining forces to truly encapsulate the “Heavenly Bodies: Catholic Imagination” theme, with Leto even being described as a kind of “Gucci Jesus”. 

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The latest Gucci campaign features Del Rey and Leto running around every day locations – the laundrette, diners and supermarkets – with tigers and ostriches and of course, they’re dressed head to toe in Gucci attire (Leto and Del Rey, not the animals). Leto pulls off a bright pink blazer with huge flowers pinned to his lapel, while Del Rey steals the show in an iconic apple green boiler suit (without forgetting the classic overlapping Gs on the belt). The music is punchy and upbeat. Shot by Glen Luchford, the campaign is filmed with a definitive nostalgia, that Del Rey already channels in her own music. As a kind of homage to classic Hollywood, with quintessentially American locations, the advert is filmed on a shaky, hand held film camera, and even cameos punk icon, Courtney Love. 

Most importantly, Del Rey and Leto are having fun, being cheeky, being free. The root of the campaign is in the idea of being uninhibited and free from life’s expectations – forever guilty of doing what they want. The whole scene is kind of crazy – jumping from ostriches in supermarkets to tigers projected on a motel wall - yet somehow it all works. Every single detail saying something about Gucci’s innovative branding. 

It’s a wonder Gucci managed to pin down their own aesthetic, along with Lana Del Rey’s ever-changing characters, from doll-eyes Lolita to Miami beach babe, to create such a powerful collaboration. With her new album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, being released later this year, and her latest singles Venice Bitch and Mariner’s Apartment Complex, she has certainly put her herself in the spotlight. Now at 33, she has been praised for the maturity of her latest music while remaining true to herself. Her continued relevance and lasting image has certainly not gone unnoticed.

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Leto has been Gucci’s muse, and the face of Gucci since December 2015. The choice surprised people, yet overtime it became clear that Leto inspired Michelle’s creatively, and vice versa. Leto’s film roles show a depth of character in his method, always choosing gritty and challenging roles like the Joker in Suicide Squad and an HIV-suffering trans woman in Dallas Buyers Club. Just looking at the actor and Gucci’s creative director together, you can see how intensely their styles complement each other. This once questionable partnership has grown to be nothing but a dream. 

In June 2018, Gucci campaigned with the popular artist, Harry Styles. Brand wise, this was once again a faultless partnership – Styles was already known for his unique tailored style, British charm and youthfulness attraction, which Gucci magnified. Gucci has redirected its particular partnerships, dressing younger, contemporary icons such as Rihanna, Blake Lively and Rachel McAdams. 

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Gucci have perfectly utilised social media’s influence on consumerism. At the same time, the quality and style of their clothes have followed this overhaul of image. Gucci is setting a precedent for other fashion houses to follow: it’s time to no longer rely on once having been ‘a big deal’. With new strategies, collaborations and clothes, the brand has reinvented itself – and that’s exactly what they’re doing right. 

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