It was quite the year for Gucci in 2022, from collaborations with Dickies, Harry Styles, and Palace to Spring/Summer 2023’s “Twinsburg” runway show and the departure of Creative Director Alessandro Michele. Now, with the brand at a crossroads, Gucci FW23 is giving us some hints of what’s to come.
Under Michele’s nostalgic rose-tinted vision, Gucci was returned to its former glory under the Tom Ford hay days, with sex contrasted with heritage, flower power mingled with functional fashion, and even athleisure explored.
A whole generation of people became enamored with the House’s new identity, punctuated by whimsical references, as well as Michele’s maximalist, unapologetic glam. Millennials and Generation-Z influencers were cherry-picked to serve as the brand’s ambassadors — Billy Eilish, Styles, Miley Cyrus, Wet Leg, Florence Welch, Jared Leto, and Lana Del Rey, just to name a few — making the brand even more relevant to a group it hadn’t previously reached. This was reflected in Michele’s revenue figures, which almost tripled from 3.9 billion euros in 2015 to 9.7 billion euros in 2021. In multiple periods, quarterly growth exceeded 50%. Given this, where does Gucci go next, and how does it accomplish this? It opens Milan Fashion Week.
Gucci presented its latest collection at Milan Fashion Week during the menswear round of the show, which was designed in-house by a team closely affiliated with Michele. Together, the team embraced an ethos of improvisation, and the result is a collection resolutely pared back from Michele’s baroque eclecticism. Sleek, sexy, and irreverent, the line was half Michele, half house codes from eras past, with distinct nods to the 90’s heyday Gucci enjoyed with Tom Ford at the helm.
There were shades of Hedi Slimane’s new wave sartorial universe, with the distinctive chic eclecticism which brought Bottega Veneta into the limelight in years past. Silhouettes were oversized, while colours and textures were loud and varied.
One thing is for sure, the granny-chic babushka era that Michele ushered in has been absorbed by a certain quiet luxury. With a global recession on our hands and a push for modesty when it comes to ostentation, Gucci is on track for yet another reinvention. Will it resonate? Time will certainly tell.
Cody is the Editor in Chief and senior contributor at liminul.
He is a photography aficionado, fashion enthusiast, avid Lana Del Rey fan, and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.