Gucci’s latest campaign captures the revolutionary and joyful impetus of eros as the creative force behind contemporary imagery—shot by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, with creative direction by Alessandro Michele.
Guccio Gucci started his first job at the Savoy Hotel where he kept many titles—dishwasher, waiter, bellboy, concierge were among the few. However, the pinnacle of his career was a lift attendant. Known as the preferred overnight spot for a number of celebrities and politicians who visited London, Guccio had the honour to give an elevator ride to the likes of Claude Monet, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and countless others. He observed and learned their styles—clothing, accessories, jewellery, manners and habits. From there, he went on to found the House of Gucci in 1921.
To celebrate its centenary, the House paid homage to Guccio’s beginnings and presented the Gucci Aria campaign where they capture the secretive and seductive atmosphere in the London lodging in the form of a fictitious clubhotel. Additionally, the set is also a nod to the music video for Madonna’s ‘I Want You’—soundtrack to the colour-saturated Gucci Aria film.
“It’s the birth of Eros—an ancient and primogenial force, that drives the desire through the attempt to mend a separation. The myth, in fact, identifies in the relationship with the Other the vital impulse that obliges each of us to restore a lost unity,” says Alessandro Michele in his notes on the campaign.
Personally chosen by Alessandro Michele, the Creative Director invited a selection of special guests to take part in the campaign. The prolific American model Kristen McMenamy and the Italian rock-band Måneskin who has previously won the Eurovision Song Contest, master the roles of mysteriously alluring hotel residents—with Kristen pulling power poses in the Gucci’s Balenciaga ‘hack’ crystal-encrusted suit, and musicians Damiano David, Victoria de Angelis, Ethan Torchio and Thomas Raggi joining a cohort of models wearing pieces from the House’s Fall Winter 2021 collection.
The campaign underlines an aesthetic that connects mind and body, models read works or essays on desire, such as Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard, The Work of Art in the Age of its Technical Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin, Bodies that Matter by Judith Butler, Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex by Sigmund Freud and Sexistence by Jean-Luc Nancy.