Gucci under Frida Giannini, the label’s former creative director would have never collaborated with a graffiti artist who is infamously known as ‘GucciGhost’ because this Brooklyn-based artist indulges in graffiti art and is obsessed with Gucci, particularly its GG-logo. GucciGhost aka Trevor Andrew has tampered with and tweaked the Gucci logo in graffiti, wall art and on objects like dustbins.
Most designers at luxury houses would hate anyone who plagiarize or appropriate their logos in downtown street art, But Alessandro Michele, who came in as Gucci’s creative director in January 2015 did the exact opposite – GucciGhost to collaborate with him. Michele told WWD, “I saw the way Trevor was using the symbol of the company and I thought it was quite genius, It’s completely different from the idea of copying. It’s the idea that you try to take to the street, through language like graffiti, the symbols of the company,” Surprisingly Gucci’s top-brass did not get a jolt from Michele’s wild idea. In fact the label’s President & CEO, Marco Bizzarri loved the idea.
Now we got to wait and watch if fashionistas would splurge 3000 plus dollars on handbags with graffiti on them. But then Alessandro Michele is loved by the queens of fashion. They love the gender-bending ambiguity and drama that Michele has infused in Gucci. The Gucci AW 2016 womenswear collection shown at Milan Fashion Week was a winner. Michele demonstrated his experimentalism streak. The collection flirted with the line between the real and the counterfeit to create Gucci’s own bootleg pieces. Spraying the word ‘real’ above ‘Gucci’ and painting the logo onto skirts, the collection was epitome of Michele’s intoxicating madness,
Artists’ collaborations are not new in fashion. It has been 15 years since the Louis Vuitton-Stephen Sprouse duet that made such a splash. Certainly this is the boldest collaboration of a major brand with an artist since that series orchestrated by Marc Jacobs at Vuitton (Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and Yayoi Kusama following Sprouse), and the flashiest.