Gucci has made a resurgence over the last several seasons, rebranding themselves as a new and improved version of the brand that has been loved for years. New packaging, and great designs courtesy of the head of the house, creative director Alessandro Michele, has transformed Gucci into a brand that has everyone talking again.
There is no secret; there has been a call for more racial diversity within the fashion industry over the last few years. Model Nykhor Paul made headlines in 2015 with her Instagram post venting her frustration with the racism and lack of diversity in the fashion industry. Supermodels Iman, Naomi Campbell, Beverly Johnson, and Jourdan Dunn have also made statements about the lack of models of color in the industry as well.
Fashion month is now upon us, and it appears that Gucci may be taking the lead by adding several models of color in their upcoming show. Last week on their Instagram page, the brand posted nine casting videos for their 2017 pre-fall show, all featuring models of color. In each of the videos, the models were asked what they think it means to have “soul”, what their spirit animal was and why, and they were asked to dance to 1960’s soul track “Crying over you” by Duke Browner as seen below in the clip of Akua Shabaka’s casting interview.
In the last few years, Alessandro Michele’s collections have been a throwback to 1970’s fashion; crushed velvet, bell sleeves, flower prints, and muted colors of burgundy and mustard have graced the runway under his tenure. The casting, which took place in London, is hopefully a good indication of an upcoming collection of soulful, rich designs inspired by the African American soul music and culture of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and represented by the people of color by which it was inspired.
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