Did Gucci’s Showtime Campaign Miss its Mark?

Earlier this week, Gucci released its Spring 2019 campaign ad labeled “Gucci Showtime” which was directly inspired by the 1940’s and 50’s golden age of Hollywood musicals. Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, has a fondness for vintage fashion and his collections with Gucci have always been an influence since an earlier time. This collection embodies the movement of classic musicals such as “Singin’ In The Rain” and “An American in Paris”. It beautifully captures the essence of the time period, as Alessandro Michele puts it “it delivers maximum glitz and glamour…the mood is playful, knowing and evokes the joyful outlook of the famous musical films of the ‘40s and ‘50s”.

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One looming detail that has been noted by many viewers is that Gucci’s depiction of this time period is extremely white. Not that this is technically wrong, for decades white actors and actresses dominated Hollywood, but this time period wasn’t entirely white. During the 40’s and 50’s, many famed minority actors were facing scrutiny and discrimination while trying to obtain roles and gather momentum for more people of color to be welcomed. They were pioneers for people of color, and even today this issue still exists in Hollywood but has been notably better, especially this past year with the releases of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians.

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The campaign’s lack of diversity reminds us of the times when Hollywood was white and white only. Not only is this still a commonly talked about issue in Hollywood today, the lack of diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry is an issue that is becoming more and more prevalent. Gucci has been one of the forefront brands to be inclusive and have a diverse range of models of race and color in most of their shows and collections. With this collection though, I think Gucci made a mistake by having an all white-cast as they could’ve been more thoughtful of those who made huge steps to gaining equality in Hollywood. If they had, this would’ve been one of the greatest campaigns they have yet to release, as it would have perfectly manifested not only the glitz and glamour of that time, but also remind us of the pioneers who helped establish people of color to be in Hollywood.

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