Gucci has undergone a remarkable transformation, transitioning from being an aspirational label to an inspirational brand that has struck a chord with consumers, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Luxury brands like Gucci have recognized the need to adapt to the changing market by revamping their communication strategies, strengthening their connection with communities, and addressing relevant societal issues.

According to Claudia D’Arpizio, a partner at Bain & Company, luxury consumers now value not only the products offered by a brand but also the values associated with it. They expect luxury labels to excel in areas such as activism, personalization, sustainability, and diversity. Gucci has wholeheartedly embraced this shift and embarked on initiatives that reflect its commitment to diversity and environmental responsibility.

One noteworthy project that Gucci has undertaken is GucciFest, which serves as a departure from the traditional catwalk show model. It is a week-long digital fashion festival that features a video presentation of the collection, directed by Gus Van Sant and Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele. Alongside this, the festival also showcases emerging young designers, profiles of participants and characters from the video, and artistic statements from various individuals. By including diverse voices and perspectives, Gucci aims to inspire its audience and broaden its appeal.

Diversity and inclusivity have become central themes for Gucci. In response to criticism over a black sweater featuring a blackface motif, Gucci launched the Changemakers program, pledging over $10 million to promote diversity and inclusion within the brand. This commitment is evident in Gucci’s campaigns, collection presentations, and beauty line, which feature unconventional models with disabilities and an unconventional appeal.

Gucci has also made significant strides in sustainability. The brand announced its carbon-neutral status in September and introduced a sustainable collection, in addition to implementing initiatives to reduce packaging waste.

These efforts have not only strengthened Gucci’s credibility but have also resonated with consumers, particularly during the pandemic. Matteo Lunelli, president of Altagamma, a luxury industry association, emphasizes that the pandemic has accelerated a shift towards prioritizing personal identity, well-being, ethics, and sustainability in consumption.

Gucci’s transformation from an aspirational label to an inspirational brand showcases its ability to adapt to changing market expectations and engage with broader societal issues. The brand’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, and ethical values has struck a chord with consumers and solidified its position as a leader in the luxury industry.

Useful Links:
1. Gucci MX
2. Mae Ann Webb on Racism, Disability, and How We Can Support Real Inclusion