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Gucci Blasted with Accusations of Plagiarism

Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele expressed his “sadness” after being accused of plagiarism by a student from Central Saint Martins Fashion program Pierre-Louis Auvray.

The whole ordeal started on Instagram last week when Gucci, uploaded a new alien-themed campaign for their fall/winter 2017 campaign. The picture below is the image from the Gucci official Instagram page.

Shortly after this picture went up, someone, assumingly a teacher at Central Saint Martins uploaded a side-by-side comparison of the work of the student Pierre-Louis Auvray, and the Gucci artwork. The teacher sounded off about paying young creatives for their work.

On the left is the work of @pierlouis7, a womenswear student on @bafcsm, posted 7 weeks ago. On the right is a still from a @gucci post yesterday. Look at both accounts and write below what you make of this. Wherever your influences come from, it is vital to credit. Young emerging designers and artists only have their ideas to trade. #CREDITYOURINFLUENCES#PAYYOUNGCREATIVES with thanks to @gerrit_jacob

Creative Director Michele denied these accusations and expressed his sadness as reported by Vogue.

“I’m so sad, because I think it’s not a good idea for a teacher at a school like this to push a young guy to destroy, in a way, his creativity. Creativity is not about the fame. I mean, it could be possible that you are thinking something that is in the mind of someone else. The idea that I’m 45 doesn’t mean that I have no creativity. I’m like a student, it’s the same, it’s not a war!”- Alessandro Michele

Michele also said that he was willing to speak with  Auvray in private. No one knows if that has yet happened, but from the posts that have been made since the initial reports, it is safe to say the artist Auvray was highly upset by everything that transpired. On his personal Instagram account, he railed about being a young artist and being “stolen from.”

Young creatives struggle enough without big companies shamelessly stealing from them. -Pierre-Louis Auvray

Michele said that he got his ideas for this video series from movies in the seventies like Star Trek and  Lost in Space. If this is a case of coincidences, what does it mean for creatives who are being plagiarized? This kind of thing happens every day; we see it all the time. Puma is suing Forever 21 over the very same thing. Where do we draw the line between “likeness” and a straight out copy? The lines seem blurry. But one cannot help but feel saddened for students who are struggling and eating freeze dried noodles for three meals a day if their work ends up in an ad for a multimillion dollar company and they aren’t getting paid for it.

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