Being abroad this semester in Florence, I am constantly exposed to fancy, cobblestone roads lined with high fashion boutiques and creative street style. Specifically, as Florence is home to Gucci’s headquarters, I was able to take a trip to Gucci’s renowned museum, dedicated to exhibits that showcase GG printed clothing and accessories. Coming off of the museum tour, 3 things stuck out to me that I think contribute to Gucci’s growing success …
1. Gucci’s appeal to millennials
High fashion houses often find it difficult to reach college age students. One brand that automatically comes to mind that is known for an older, more classic audience is CHANEL, as a lot of people think of of their moms when they smell No. 5. However, Gucci is different. With the help of new CEO, Marco Bizzarri, Gucci is appealing to a younger audience through infiltrating the hip-hop world, using influencers like Beyonce through to promote the brand through diverse media forms, and creating viral, Gucci-centric slang such as, “Gucci Gang.” This is helping Gucci surpass other luxury companies as millenial support is differentiating the brand and spreading Gucci’s name.
2. Play on counterfeit luxury retail
Lots of fashion houses are also experiencing losses from the counterfeit, black market-esqe businesses, as tourists fall into traps to purchase fake luxury items that mirror authentic ones. However, instead of negatively reacting to the counterfeit business, Gucci spun it to benefit themselves. They began creating popular high fashion pieces that have “GUCCY” embroidered on it, and coined the saying “guccify yourself,” to represent the misspelled counterfeit pieces and show that they are not afraid to break the standard of luxury.
3. Using fashion to tell stories
To end, I wanted to highlight my favorite piece that I saw at the museum. It was a dress worn by Michelle Obama on the Ellen show in 2016. While the colors and silhouette initially drove me to this piece, the message of the dress spoke deeper. It was designed like a map, but not a typical map – one that is a guide to romance. This proved that Gucci apparel is about more than what is seen at first glance, and reaffirms that high fashion is defined by every minute detail. I look forward to finishing my semester in Florence and following Gucci’s success!
Dress Worn by Michelle Obama.
Photos Courtesy of Sarah Shmerler.