May 26, 2017 | By WGSN Insider
Big data meets consumer insights. Experience WGSN.
Dec 02, 2016
By Jian DeLeon
Last holiday season we debuted our WGSN Advent calendar. The calendar consisted of 25 days of content directly from team members from our global offices sharing the new gadgets, electronics and clothing they had on their fashion-forward, future-thinking holiday wishlist.
2016 has overwhelmingly been a whirlwind of a year so we’re proud to introduce “WGSN #ICYMI”! For 25 days WGSN staffers will share their favourite campaigns, plus the innovative products that may have flown under your radar this busy year, and we’ll give you insight into the people (read: key influencers) who used 2016 as their warmup as they plan to take over in 2017.
Gucci’s resurgence under the helm of Alessandro Michele has proven to be as well-received by customers as it has by elite fashion editors. Michele’s reinvention of the classic Gucci bit loafer as a fur-lined mule, silk souvenir jackets, and appliquéd denim featuring tiger and snake motifs have become must-have status symbols among high-end consumers.
Alessandro Michele’s offerings at Gucci have been a boon for luxury giant Kering, which details the label’s success in their recent Q3 report. Revenue increased 17% overall, with 19% in Gucci flagship stores, while its e-commerce sales rose by an impressive 50%. Clearly, Michele is doing something right with his wild, wonderful vision for the storied house.
One thing Michele has done exceptionally well is infuse a knowing, cross-cultural appeal into the label’s casual menswear offerings. Not only did he repurpose counterfeit Gucci imagery on tees and jersey knits for his recent Cruise Collection, but he also tapped artist Trevor Andrew, better known as GucciGhost, on a capsule collection of “real” Gucci gear inspired by the Brooklynite’s lo-fi, bootleg-inspired homages to the brand.
The fact that Gucci saw it fit to shoot its latest Cruise Collection lookbook in New York’s working-class Coney Island neighborhood further drove home the cheeky, self-aware attitude that’s given the brand a youthful shot in the arm. It perfectly toes the precarious line between runway-worthy fashion and buzz-generating streetwear.
Meanwhile, a completely different type of “Gucci” was creating waves of his own—Radric Delantic Davis—better known as his nom-de-rap: Gucci Mane. After being incarcerated for a firearms posession charge in 2014, the Atlanta artist, known for helping popularize the Southern-infused “trap” genre of hip-hop, was released three months early on September 20, 2016. While in prison, the formerly flabby rapper managed to lose 50 pounds.
With his slimmer frame, Gucci Mane could now wear a wider array of designer gear, and he definitely began to make his mark in the fashion world—first coming out with an advertisement for cult brand Supreme. Directed by Harmony Korine, the one-minute clip shows the rapper at home in Atlanta, making music, and dishing on his passion for online shopping.
Worlds truly collided when Vogue asked Gucci Mane, who admitted he’s never been to a fashion show, to review Alessandro Michele’s Spring/Summer 2017 womenswear line. The resulting clip is full of quotables, and exhibits Mane’s approval of Alessandro Michele’s integrated catwalks and bug-eyed eyewear.
The unlikely-yet-perfect juxtaposition is an ideal microcosm for the synthesis of street culture into the luxury landscape. Mane, like Jay Z, Kanye West, and Rihanna, represents a new way of thinking about aspiration. A rapper who named himself after a brand he once couldn’t afford now being given the opportunity to review it for one of fashion’s most important media outlets says wonders about where the new soft power lies in dictating taste.
In street culture, the term “Gucci” has become shorthand for “good.” So if someone were to ask you were doing, the reply would be, “I’m Gucci.” Even the recent GucciGhost collaboration offers a graphic sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “Life is Gucci.”
If the upward trajectory of Gucci Mane’s career (he just released a new album, Everybody Looking, this year), and Alessandro Michele’s continued success at the Gucci label are any indication, the future is looking pretty Gucci for both.
Look out for our full #ICYMI calendar coming up everyday on WGSN Insider, this month. Check out day one, an ode to Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg here.
At WGSN our global employees are first when it comes to emerging trends, designers to watch, and the retail brands doing dynamic things. For more curated insight, join WGSN.
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