Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele has announced that the Italian brand will be going seasonless and holding just two fashion shows a year in an effort to reduce waste.
The fashion calendar has become crammed full of reasons to hold the overused ritual of ‘fashion shows’ to pump out more and more ‘product’ into an oversaturated, unsustainable market.
That is why I decided to build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d’être. It’s a foundational act, audacious but necessary, that aims at building a new creative universe. A universe that essentialises itself in the subtraction of events and that oxygenates through the multiplication of sense.Alessandro Michele, Creative Director, Gucci
In Alessandro’s personal diary, Notes from the Silence, which is series of entries shared on the Gucci website, he explains his inward reflections on the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry, his brand’s footprint, and his resolve to do better and stop the cycle of consumption.
Here is an excerpt from Notes from the Silence….
“ROME – 3 MAY, 2020 THE SACRED POWER OF PRODUCING REVERBERATIONS
Therefore, I will abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonality’s and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story. Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms. And beyond. I would like to leave behind the paraphernalia of leitmotifs that colonized our prior world: cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer, fall-winter. I think these are stale and underfed words. Labels of an impersonal discourse that lost its meaning. Containers that progressively detached themselves from the life that generated them, losing touch with reality.”
Gucci has cut the number of annual fashion shows from five down to two. From this point the brand will present shows irregularly just twice per year on its own terms. Typically, it would present its latest collection at Milan Fashion Week in September – but they have no plans to go ahead this year.
This decision was made in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has given him the opportunity to rethink and reimagine the fashion industry and his brand’s part within it.
His diary entries explain the realisations, “We understood we went way too far,”….. “Our reckless actions have burned the house we live in… We usurped nature, we dominated and wounded it.”
“Now that the devastation caught us unprepared, we have to think about what we would not want to be the same as it was.”
“Our history is littered with crises that taught us nothing,” he continues. “With economic collapses and social devastations that were tackled by imposing the same recipes from which they originated.”
Alessandro’s hopes are that other designers will follow and join him in making the change to a more sustainable pace and approach towards fashion.