See Gucci’s “Seductive and Secretive” New Campaign

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Gucci Autumn/Winter 2021
Gucci Autumn/Winter 2021Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

The library is open: Gucci’s erotically-charged new visuals feature texts by the likes of Jean Baudrillard, Judith Butler, and Sigmund Freud

This spring, Gucci celebrated its centenary with an unprecedented collection that “hacked” the codes of another fashion house: Balenciaga. Mining the “nonconformist rigour” of its current creative director Demna Gvasalia, as well as the “sexual tension” of the collections of Alessandro Michele’s predecessor at Gucci, Tom Ford, the collection – titled Aria – fused the spirit of the two labels.

Gucci has just unveiled the collection’s accompanying campaign – a “seductive and secretive” story photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Looking to London’s Savoy Hotel, where Guccio Gucci worked as a liftboy in his youth, encountering many glamorous people that would go on to inspire his designs, the campaign imagines a fictitious club housed within the hotel’s historic walls. The landmark location was also the backdrop to the house’s live-streamed Aria show back in April.

In the darkly romantic campaign images, which star a cast of models alongside “special guests” Kristen McMenamy and the Italian band Måneskin, the hotel “guests” languish in dim, seductive lighting and recline on plush furnishings in the collection’s decadent pieces. In several images, copies of seminal texts share the frame, including 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.

“Our erotic relationship with the world overwhelms everything: artefacts, dreams, clothes,” says Gucci, explaining the campaign’s connection to these works. “Knowledge itself becomes an object of desire.”

Watch Gucci’s Aria film below.