Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has broken plenty of codes in the industry since assuming his role as creative director of the Italian fashion house in 2015. Back in August, financial services firm Exane BNP Paribas named Gucci one of the “hottest” luxury brands around.
Lately, the brand has been seen to champion this new and progressive definition of “cool.” For example, with transgender model Hari Nef making her Milan Fashion Week debut at Gucci’s Fall 2016 menswear show. However, up until now, Gucci’s racial diversity stats have been very low (to say the least). Of the five models who starred in Gucci’s Fall 2016 “Lost in Translation” campaign, one (Mae Lapres) was nonwhite.
Groundbreaking or opportunistic?
Based on a string of recent Instagram posts, the Italian fashion house is amping up its diversity efforts. This Thursday, Gucci posted nine “audition” videos teasing its Pre-Fall 2017 campaign. The clincher? All nine models are black. The clips show the models answering various questions, some (“What does it mean to have a soul?”) more abstract than others (“What’s your dance background?”).
According to the Cut, the ads were cast by Midland Agency, known for casting “real people” models for designers like Eckhaus Latta and Hood by Air. The specifics of the campaign remain under wraps and Gucci has declined to comment on the vids, but this may very well be the brand’s first 100 percent diverse campaign. Which would be glorious, given that Gucci is a tastemaker among luxury brands, a sector notorious for its lackluster to nonexistent diversity efforts.
Check out some of the videos below and head over to Gucci’s Instagram to see the full campaign.