Increasingly brands are harnessing the power of social media, hoping to capitalize on the conversational currency in real time. And it can be helpful, acting as insight into a demographic of people the brand may have previously ignored. But in our watchdog culture, it begs the question if anyone's efforts are actually genuine. Fresh off of its most recent scandal involving a black sweater that, worn together with a matching balaclava, would give the appearance of Blackface, Gucci wants the social media record to reflect that it is now on the right side of history. Not only is the brand aligning itself with a worthy cause, but through charitable donations, Gucci is putting its money where its mouth is.
On Tuesday, Alessandro Michele presented his cruise 2020 collection at the Capitolini Museums in Rome. The pieces he sent down the runway demonstrated "a freedom of expression and, in particular, freedom of choice, supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights," according to WWD. That theme materialized in a gown with an embroidered image of the female reproductive system, the slogan 'My body, my choice' emblazoned on several items, and a Chime for Change T-Shirt. The entire collection was a nod to the date May 22, 1978, the day the Italian law for the social protection of motherhood and legal abortion took effect, but also to the liberated '70s. “Women have to be respected… they should be free to choose what they want,” Michele told Vogue during a press conference.
As far as social media and whether it's helpful or harmful, Michele tells WWD, "my clothes, my shows, my campaigns and all the projects I am producing for Gucci are my voice, 'my weapon' of choice. I have been lucky, I’ve been the megaphone and I really want to use it for a purpose." Further, he says social media is nowadays a great way to spread messages.
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‘My Body My Choice’ is a feminist slogan from the 70s which appears on the reverse of this jacket seen before the #GucciCruise20 fashion show by @alessandro_michele. This piece echoes the Creative Director’s continuing vision of freedom, equality and self-expression. Since founding @chimeforchange in 2013—the global campaign that represents and advocates for gender equality—@gucci has a longstanding commitment to women and girls by funding projects around the world to support sexual and reproductive rights, maternal health, and the freedom of individual choice. Learn more about the global partners for sexual and family health rights the campaign is donating to in 2019, which can be found in @chimeforchange’s link in bio. @museiincomuneroma #AlessandroMichele #MuseiCapitolini
And thankfully, the brand is going far beyond social media buzz to actually support the cause it references on the runway. In an Instagram caption featuring one of the pieces from Gucci's cruise 2020 collection, the brand reinforces its "longstanding commitment to women and girls by funding projects around the world to support sexual and reproductive rights, maternal health, and the freedom of individual choice" before directing users to the link in the Chime For Change Instagram account's bio. The link lists the organization supported by Gucci Chime For Change, including Global Fund for Women, Ms. Foundation, and Women Deliver.