Alessandro Michele Exorcises Gucci's Ghosts
Alessandro Michele Exorcises Gucci's Ghosts
- Words Frendy Lemorin
- Date October 19, 2016
"I just spent 10 bands at Gucci!" No, obviously not me, I'm just quoting Tyga as he boastfully proclaims spending his hard earned racks on the luxury line-loving track, "Gucci Snakes," featuring Desiigner.
The two G.O.O.D Music mates aren't the only entertainers who are head over heels for Gucci's Fall 2016 reptilian aesthetic. Major list celebrities (with actual swag) such as A$AP Rocky, Tinie Tempah, Lewis Hamilton and Lebron James are all in on the on the scorching, slithery style. As a matter of fact, the prestigious Italian luxury brand is regaining momentum to become an essential uniform for the daring, rich and successful as it once was back in the day.
It all started last Autumn when Gucci's newly appointed Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, boosted the brand's sales with his ready-to-wear collection, which consisted of exuberant designs and mixed elements of women's wear with men's wear. Michele's fresh take of clothing was a far cry from his predecessor, Frida Giannini, who favored formal attire. "The new man at the helm has a decidedly more romantic outlook. His Gucci girl is an ingénue with an eccentric side, one who looks as though she's picked out her clothes at estate sales and vintage stores, and mixed them magpie-style with handfuls of heirloom rings, chunky rimmed glasses, the occasional pompom hat, and fur-lined horse-bit loafers," states Nicole Phelps of Vogue.
Continuing the winning streak, Alessandro collaborated with an ex Olympic snowboarder-turned-designer named Trevor Andrew, better known in the matrix as Trouble Andrew or Gucci Ghost. According to a feature story on W Magazine, Trevor rose to glory by casually making a last minute Halloween costume, utilizing none other than his beloved Gucci bed sheets (MacGyver truly ain't got nothing on him.) That very night, Andrew instantly became immortalized on the streets of New York as GucciGhost. Inspired by the ghost-calling (get it?), Trevor creatively decided to accent the random, yet fortunate series of events by painting his version of Gucci's classic logo on anything he could and later posted the images on Instagram, using his hood-declared nickname #GucciGhost in hashtags. Andrew's appreciation for the power of branding derived from his love of the Skate culture.
Eventually, Alessandro caught wind of the ghost while he surpassed 26,000 followers on the popular social media app. Ari Marcopoulos, who shoots for the luxury Italian brand, introduced the two Gucci enthusiasts. After a successful meeting at the brand's office in Rome, Michele hired Andrew to collaborate on new Gucci designs. Trevor's street-art inspired double G logo ended up appearing in the Italian line's Milan runway show last February on a cream-colored pleated skirt, nylon bomber jacket and black leather shoulder bag. GucciGhost's latest project with the brand was in the form of his own collection, which was released this year on September 14th during Fashion week at Gucci's Fifth Avenue store.
Alessandro is undoubtedly a Creative Director for the new age as he fully embraces the Internet and street culture to materialize masterpieces. Andrew isn't the only social media sensation Michele has recruited. He also invited artist Helen Downie best known as @unskilledworker, to create a series of paintings based on Gucci's Fall 2015 collection. Not only is Helen a self-taught painter, the London-based creative discovered her love of painting at the ripe age of 48 (talk about a late bloomer, right?)
After a tumultuous battle with cancer and a detox from substance abuse, she started painting and it eventually sparked a sensation of inner peace that she longed for for ages. Helen is known for her big-eyed, small-sized portraits made with experimental techniques and mixed media on paper. The gifted artist currently has over a whopping 225k followers, which includes the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Alessandro's humble invite to illustrate Gucci's Fall 2015 collection for the show No Longer/Not Yet at The Minsheng Art Museum of Shanghai launched Downie to international superstardom!
With the backstory of Michele's awesomeness out of the way, let us now refocus our attention a bit more on Gucci's latest snake sensation. The trend has gone so viral, fellow designers are hissing their way into their respective shoppers hearts and pockets. Ricardo Tisci (known for initially putting animals on the high-end designer radar) has incorporated snakes in Givenchy's Fall 2016 menswear line. Even Balenciaga jumped on the bandwagon by creating snake printed scarves and T-shirts for their 2016 autumn season.
I bet you're all thinking, out of all the animals in the wildlife kingdom, why did Alessandro Michele choose a serpent, who some may refer to as evil, to be a part of Gucci's visual motif? This is simply another act of boldness from the designer to expand traditional thinking about what we wear and the symbolisms behind them. Perception is everything. Choose yours wisely.
Read more of Frendy Lemorin's work here.