Gucci, the recently rebooted ready-to-wear and accessories brand that is beloved by everyone from fashion editors and celebrities to Millennials, regularly makes a point to reach out to youth culture. The Italian fashion brand works with acclaimed young artists like Petra Collins and has committed to going fur-free in an effort to connect with their fans.
Now, Gucci is putting its money where its heart is. The storied fashion house has donated $500,000 to the March for Our Lives, according to Business of Fashion. The March is being organised by student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in response to the school shooting that left 17 of their classmates and teachers dead. BoF further reports that Gucci is sending an envoy to the March on behalf of the company.
Giant brands rarely adopt a political posture, so why is Gucci taking a stand? For the brand, it's not just about courting millennial customers or representing their brand — it's tragically personal. Two Gucci employees were among those shot at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL in 2016. Leonel Melendez was a manager at the Gucci boutique at The Mall in Orlando, and he survived the shooting; Javier Jorge-Reyes, a Gucci salesman, was killed.
Creative Director Alessandro Michele said in a statement that he is "moved" by the "courage" of the students. "My love is with them and it will be next to them on March 24. I am standing with March for Our Lives and the strong young women and men across the United States who are fighting for their generation and those to come."
The company also said that "we stand with March For Our Lives and the fearless students across the country who demand that their lives and safety become a priority. We have all been directly or indirectly impacted by these senseless tragedies, and Gucci is proud to join this movement with a donation of US$ 500,000." The company joins George and Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey who have donated $500,000 to the March. The March for Our Lives takes places March 24 in Washington, D.C. and cities around the country.