Gucci's Pre-fall 2017 Campaign: Introducing Luxury Brands to Black History Month

What does it mean to have soul?   Gucci stirred conversation last week after posting nine audition videos asking Black youth this question on their Instagram account.  February houses both Black History Month and Fashion Week— two events that seem to have mutual exclusivity to much dismay.  The disparities between marginalized groups and luxury brands have always represented much more than clothing; it is a nod to the overall economic landscape, social climate, and the need for change.  Each of the audition tapes ends with the interviewer asking the candidate to dance and I would be remiss to say that the word minstrel didn't cross my mind once or thrice— which is why it's equally important to have people of color at the table during content creation and brainstorming tasteful execution tactics.  I do, however, believe Gucci is well-intentioned and thank the company for pushing the narrative, all the while gaining exposure for young Black models.  Talks of black panthers as spirit animals, James Brown foot shuffling, and voguing in its original art form proved refreshing and well overdue.  Gucci followed up its inclusivity with a 3-post tribute to the Chinese New Year and we are hoping they are forging a path that will cause other luxury brands to follow suit.  I am excited to see what the campaign entails and have listed my top 3 audition tapes below.  You can check out the other audition tapes here.

Toi Bly