The first stage of the exhibition opened alongside Art Basel Hong Kong and showcased the work of Gucci muse and fashion photographer Petra Collins. With her dreamy aesthetic, Collins has become the ultimate embodiment of the Gucci Girl, a hybrid of the ethereal and the very ‘now’. A former ballet dancer, the now impossibly ‘It’ girl has not only fronted campaigns for the brand, but worked across major ad campaigns and shot music videos for the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen.
In Beijing, Coco Capitán’s handwritings and snapshots of Rome and Florence will be on display, and the exhibition will then go onto Taipei, where it will finish with Gia Coppola’s portraits of Joshua Tree California. Spanish photographer Capitán is also a long-time collaborator, having not only shot campaigns for the brand but also worked on the brand’s logo during the AW17 collection. Gia Coppola, with her illustrious cinematic heritage, has already shot a series of shorts for the brand.
At each stage, the exhibition will give audiences a new insight into the mind of Creative Director of Gucci Alessandro Michele. In Beijing, where the exhibition opened on March 30th, the queues outside of the 77 Theater attest to the continuing fascination with the man behind Gucci‘s remarkable comeback. Thanks to the designer’s star performance, the Kering Group owned brand saw revenue increase of 4.8 percent in 2016.
The venture is also representative of the brand’s focus on attracting millennials, many of whom have a far higher dispensable income in China than in Europe, and are looking to buy into Alessandro Michele’s immersive lifestyle offer. A gallery guide remarked to Jing Daily: ‘A lot of people just want to come here and take photos, I try to show them artwork, and they’re not interested—they tell me, “I just want to take pictures” and then they leave.’ Indeed, the power of Gucci’s branding signifies that even where luxury markets are contracting, as China’s was reported to be, it is possible to increase market share. While other brands have been slow to realise the power of bloggers in the luxury fashion arena, Gucci has wasted no time in placing their products with Chinese influencers to ensure lasting engagement.