Sabato De Sarno has presented his new vision for Gucci – but who is the man behind the statement, “I want people to fall in love with Gucci again?” De Sarno’s appointment was made earlier this year, taking over as the House’s Creative Director with a big plan – to make Gucci Gucci again. To do so, he leans on his years of experience (formerly at Prada, and Valentino where he was Pierpaolo Piccioli’s right hand). Now, at Gucci, the influence of Sarno is clear, with a roll out and anticipation almost unseen from any other major brand.
His vast experience means De Sarno knows how to connect and speak to an audience, both maintaining the Gucci fans it possesses and finding a new crowd to fall in love with the House. So far, this has included a David Sims-shot campaign with the supermodel Daria Werbowy, which was used to highlight the Marina Chain jewellery collection.
Elsewhere, we’ve seen a Gucci takeover in Milan with graphics adorning trams and street walls everywhere you look; the “Ancora around the world” activation that plastered buildings with the “Ancora” motif, in cities including Chengdu, Paris, London, Bangkok, Rome, and New York; a book titled Gucci Prospettive n.1, Milano Ancora, which is curated by Stefano Collicelli Cagol in dialogue with the new Creative Director, and is described as a “love letter to Milan and its art;” an activation for the book held at Brera’s iconic Bar Jamaica in Milan; a temporary gallery at Via Fiori Chiari 5 (open till September 23, 2023) that showcased the works of Valerio Eliogabalo Torrisi, Martino Santori, Noura Tafeche, and Cristiano Rizzo; and of course, there’s been the invites.
Showgoers were given a gold bracelet that read “ANCORA” in a quintessential Gucci font, as well as a Gucci Milano Ancora Mix of Robin S.’s classic “Show Me Love,” celebrating the 30th anniversary of the dance anthem.
All this, and more, is summarised by De Sarno himself. Per Gucci: “My first collection is a map. It’s personal, it is about my designs, my sensibilities, my passions. These are the items I want to explore further at Gucci.”
And without further ado, Gucci’s new vision has now been unveiled at the Gucci Hub in Milan.
Commencing the show was a classic Gucci look: charcoal overcoat falling to below the knee, paired with a white vest and shorts. Embossed platform Gucci Interlocking GG loafers in a dark red-tinged tan hue elevated the ensemble, while a new iteration of the Gucci Jackie bag appeared in wine red, accented with a gold-toned metal Piston Lock.
As the show went on, Gucci’s new direction became clearer and clearer. This is about blending its heritage as the leading luxury Italian House with a new, fresh identity, but not to the point that it does not feel familiar. This very combination is a tricky one to achieve, but it was hit time and time again for SS24.
A ‘60s shift dress offered peak Gucci heyday nostalgia, appearing in a demure white version and a more rock ‘n’ roll black patent leather iteration, here quilted using the GG monogram. Sleeveless coats delivered sophistication, while stud embellished accessories and bras pumped up the velocity – the perfect mix of Gucci new and old.
Elsewhere, the classic monogram-covered canvas was used to create summer dresses cut with sartorial detailing and proportions, again adding a sense of taste and class to even the most humble of looks. But it wasn’t afraid to let loose, serving up the most luxurious takes on brand logo hoodies, worn with dark lipstick-red embossed leather shorts and matching platform loafers.
Soon came a more experimental edge, with a green double-breasted coat stealing the runway with its volume and abundance of threads, dripping from the arms and the body to create a silhouette that wafted through the Gucci Hub space. Likewise, the crystal-studded spread collar on a polo cardigan pushed how large collars can be, echoing the roominess of Gucci’s latest selection of baggy, relaxed, forever-classic jeans.
Tennis chic was served via a white knit two-piece accented with green and red webbing motifs, acting as the transitional period for the collection: day into night.
Here, De Sarno pushed sensualities – a full deep red leather look was Gucci’s power woman; its embossed leather look cut from the green and red House archetype hues, were Gucci’s party girl. For when she’s combining the two, a glistening encrusted green tank top comes alongside baggy front-seam denim, and for when she’s back in the office? A grey jersey dress, puffed at the arms and shoulders for a vintage Gucci touch.
Gucci continued long into the night as it presented dresses that incorporated lingerie lace into areas like the bust, midriff and further afield, hinting at what lies beneath later looks – notably, a belted Harrington jacket of sorts, cut with a dominating stance.
What was Gucci SS24 by Sabato De Sarno? It was a lesson in refinement and knowing who you are. Gucci found itself in De Sarno’s ability to research the past in order to influence and shape the future of the House, and in doing so, we know exactly who is going to wear this new Gucci era – you, me, everyone.
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