In April, Anna Wintour the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine urged the industry to shift their emphasis more on sustainability, luxury creativity and craft.
On Sunday, 24th of May, Gucci’s creative director heeded this message, announcing his decision to leave the traditional fashion calendar behind for forthcoming collections. Alessandro Michele expressed in a series of diary entries on his personal instagram, that he intended to “Abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows”. Appearing with just two shows a year in how he described as a “meet to share the chapters of a new story”.
In light of the recent blows the industry in general and many major brands have been facing due to the Covid – 19 pandemic, a readjustment in production may be just what is needed to help regain balance.
The pandemic has also unearthed some of the very shallow-buried and already quite well known concerns about the fashion industry’s environmental impact. Being the second largest polluter worldwide and the fact that the current seasonal calendar encourages over consumption and jet setting culture, change was never far on the horizon. Michele however disclosed that his decision to re approach the way Gucci tells their stories is closely tied to environmental concerns, one of the diary entries reads “Our reckless actions have burned the house we live in. We conceived of ourselves as separated from nature, we felt cunning and almighty. We usurped nature, we dominated and wounded it.”
On the 17th of June the first chapter of this new story was finally unveiled. The first instalment of the ‘Circular Lines’ was dubbed ‘Off The Grid’ and features the designers signature maximalist touch, with an eco-conscious production. This collection utilises recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials amongst which is ‘ECONYL’, a regenerated nylon made from nylon offcuts pre and post consumer waste.
The pieces included are an array of statement garments as well as timeless classics making this collection widely accessible easily marketable. The house monogram is seen adorned on everything from oversized denim jackets to brightly coloured backpacks and totes. There also is no shortage of accessories and footwear which truly gives ‘Off The Grid’ a well thought out design recipe which shows that sustainably designing and producing does not hinder the image or vision.
For the campaign, shot by Harmony Korine, featured a star studded cast including the likes of Jane Fonda, Lil Was X, King Princess, Miyavi and David de Rothschild. The pictorial, envisioned by Michele places the quintessential elements of a city landscape such as glass and concrete in a green natural environment to emphasise contrast. The message focuses on reformation, a way of building a new existence, paving the way for a lifestyle which doesn’t harm the planet we inhibit.
In the press release Alessandro’s words read ‘ there is this idea of dialogue among people building something new. I imagined that we could build a treehouse in a city centre, all together, like kids playing in the park. Because all of us need to build this house or to find out that our planet exists, even where it seems it’s not there, or it’s far away.’
Alongside the debut of this collection comes a new interactive feature in the GUCCI own app, allowing consumers to further immerse themselves in this new endeavour. The new section on the app allows users to take a themed quiz on questions about the collection and its production process. Building on from the campaigns concept players can also build their own virtual city – treehouses after successfully completing the quiz and also unlock an array of wallpapers which they can share on their socials.
Discover and experience for yourselves, the new GUCCI ‘Off The Grid’ collection here