Gucci ‘collaborates’ with Balenciaga for 100th anniversary extravaganza

Abha Shah
·2-min read
 (Gucci/Greg Avenel)
(Gucci/Greg Avenel)

One hundred years is a milestone in anyone’s book, and in the high fashion sphere, it’s cause for a serious party.

In the year Gucci marks a century of style, all eyes were on creative director Alessandro Michele for his virtual presentation of the new Aria collection.

A story of endless metamorphosis, the virtual show took viewers on a wild ride through the Italian fashion house’s spectacular past, from founder Guccio Gucci’s days in the early part of the last century bell-hopping at the Savoy, to Tom Ford’s power suits in more recent years. There were also equestrian influences (no doubt in tribute to Gucci’s saddle-making beginnings) and splashes of bold monogramming.

The optics refracted and re-focused as Michele paid homage to the various influences that have come to form Gucci’s DNA over the years, before the operatic retrospective finished with a look to the future, and a ‘mutual contamination’ with sister Kering label, Balenciaga.

Gucci/Greg Avenel
Gucci/Greg Avenel

The brands’ signature styles merged to form a new look birthed from the two fashion houses with the stand-out pieces being the co-branded, two-logos-for-the-price-of-one, blazers. Michele’s hacking move had full approval from Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia, of course.

“Demna really enjoyed the idea of me using his styles to transform them into something else,” he said. “It’s not fashion stealing from other designers, but I went to a friend’s house to steal.” Akin to plundering your best mate’s wardrobe for a quick fashion update - hey, we’ve all done it.

Gucci/Greg Avenel
Gucci/Greg Avenel

Adding to the birthday party vibe, the show was soundtracked to Gucci-heavy tunes - think Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang”, Rick Ross and Future’s “Green Gucci Suit” and of course, “Gucci Coochie” by Die Antwoord and Dita Von Teese, underlining Gucci’s influence in pop culture beyond the catwalk.

“Everyone will be invited to this birthday party,” Michele said after the show over a video conference. “It is an ultra-pop party focused on the brand’s DNA. I wanted to create a rebirth for this brand; for this myth, for this saga.”

Click through the gallery above for all the Gucci Aria looks.