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Century Of An Icon

Creative Direction: Dané Stojanovic

Product Photography: Paul Morel

Fashion Direction: Marne Schwartz

Words: Benjamen Judd

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A hundred years of an iconic name representing the peak of luxury and craftsmanship. For anyone, turning 100 is an event to be celebrated. But for Gucci – it’s testament to a brand’s timeless quality and evolution as a brand for the times.

To celebrate this milestone, the House of Double G has launched a series of pop-up stores and the Gucci 100 Collection that tap into the brand’s unparalleled influence on pop culture. Especially in the world of music. According to Gucci, their name has been mentioned in the lyrics of an astounding total of 22,705 songs, dating back to the house’s earliest times of 1921.

As such the new campaign celebrates this musical odyssey. Shot by Joshua Woods and overseen by the artful eye of Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, the campaign travels the worlds of music, through both styles and time.

Jazz, psychedelic, Japanese punk, disco, hip hop, Afrobeat – the diversity lends itself to the way Gucci has touched the broader world and going beyond trend or culture to create its own of both.

“The centennial, for me, represents an opportunity to bear witness to Gucci’s eternal vitality that year after year, is reborn, it renews itself, reestablishing an unusual relationship with contemporaneity as a boy, forever young, observing the world with a powerful vision,” says Michele in a statement about the campaign. “I recognized the manifestation of its youth in its having intercepted and traversed, for one hundred years now, popular culture in all its forms. Above all, in music: the only medium, aside from fashion, more reactive to the times that mutate and mark the new, the today, the now.”

So fans of the brand can also participate in the occasion, a range of ready-to-wear accessories have been created that will feature the Gucci 100 logo or decorated with verses from three songs chosen by specifically by Michele from among the enormous library of music that mention the brand: 1988 hit The R by Eric B. & Rakim; You Got Good Taste by 1983 rock band The Cramps; and the late and great Amy Winehouse’s absolute banger, the 2003 song Fuck Me Pumps.

Which is all good fun, but there’s also something greater behind the achievement of Gucci’s 100 years in the game. It’s the reason why the name and its logos remain such a coveted representation of luxury. It’s because Gucci is built on its audience – the people who wear it, want it and desire it. If a brand can’t connect there, it’s lost before its begun and Gucci has been able to maintain that connection for a century. Even during the tumultuous ‘80s and early ‘90s, it retained cult status for its affiliation with a sense of glamour and success. Harlem’s style king Dapper Dan’s treatment of the logo during the ‘80s only cemented the Gucci name within pop culture, quickly taken up by the growing rap and hip hop scenes.

That a brand can remain relevant, present in the now, and yet always be setting the agenda for tomorrow is a rare and unique gift. Especially in fashion.

Fashion has ever been ruled by seasons and new pleasures. Maybe because Gucci didn’t officially start in the traditional sartorial arena – it began creating leather goods, objects that needed to last, to endure various occasions and sustain delight over time – the brand has managed to see better than most how important it is to remain timeless.

Buon compleanno.

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