Gucci has released the audition videos for their advertising campaigns, which has turned out to be a full cast of nine Black models. This possible fashion milestone comes right in time as Black History Month initiated yesterday, February 1st.
This is an important step for the brand after it has been called out multiple times because of their lack of diversity on both the runway, through their seasonal campaigns and especially after the fashion house’s last creative director, according to the company’s casting director, Barbara Nicoli, said she likes girls with a “specific body,” which apparently only White girls have.
“Caucasians have a specific body type,” said Nicoli, “Black girls have a specific body shape, and Asian girls have a specific body shape. So I guess there are some collections where it’s more perfect for an Asian body shape because they are more flat and less sexy, in a way.”
While no racist comments like this have been said during the era of Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s new creative director who was appointed in January 2015, the runways and campaigns haven’t changed one bit.
During the transition of creative leadership, everything seemed to have a major shift, the clothes were amazing, people actually seemed to care for the brand under his new direction, but the representation never improved. During their most recent show in Italy for the season of Spring/Summer 2017, Elibeidy Danis and Nicole Atieno were the only Black models to walk the show while the season before that, for Fall/Winter 2016/17 only four Black models were cast to walk the show.
“During the transition of creative leadership, everything seemed to have a major shift, the clothes were amazing, people actually seemed to care for the brand under his new direction, but the representation never improved.”
Gucci now, being a subtly mysterious brand, has posted on Instagram the audition videos of apparently an all-Black cast of models with their names (Camille, Chauncey, Jonah, Akua, Abdulaye, Sharifa, Franck, Zen, Alton), a quote of their spirit animal and the text “At the audition for the #GucciPreFall17 campaign, London, January 26, 2017,” which quite obviously means something.
A spokesman of Gucci told The Business of Fashion, “It is also the case that [Gucci creative director] Alessandro Michele has always celebrated diversity in all of its forms in his approach to his work.”