Photo essay: Gucci’s ease and grace

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Gucci. The love for the symbol of the interlocking G has flared and flowed but remains a symbol of luxury, especially in New York. These photos are a tribute to how New Yorkers wear the brand every day with ease and grace.

Our audience is people from Brooklyn and Harlem on the streets and completely at home in the neighborhoods they walk daily. Here in the history of home ownership, entrepreneurship, and the black community, Gucci is both transcendent and a staple.

All share the idea of ​​combining their own style with the brand. Each person arrives on our set in their own outfit, ready to wear a Gucci or two that grab their attention from four select shelves curated by the shoot’s fashion editor, Tori Leung . The back of our truck is like a forklift: three shoe suitcases, 50 garment bags, three Ikea bags filled with accessories – sunglasses, bags, belts and hats. The models, all with a strong sense of personal style, each went straight to what they considered “unique”. Each selected piece fits perfectly; it’s just that effort.

Many have mentioned the brand’s problematic and not-so-distant past, including allegations of poaching and Black sweater controversy. We all feel the same: If Harlem couturier Dapper Dan, who was shut down by luxury brands in the past and then partnered with Gucci in 2017, can make peace conditional, so are we.

[As Gucci turns 100, creative director Alessandro Michele is leading the fashion industry toward a different future.]

We find that there is something irresistible to those who respond to the allure of the Italian brand: variations of the interlocking G, racing stripes, a crossover of red and green, golden bridle, lush fabrics. Luxury flaunts material possessions and leisure. It is not fast fashion. These luxuries must be budgeted and sometimes spontaneous, rebellious investments. When I asked our models if they would buy the item they were wearing, all were adamant that if they had disposable income, they would buy it once and wear it forever.

– Audra Jones Dosunmu, producer and casting director

Janis Wilkins, creative director of multimedia company Artgraphica, photographer, artist and model. Ribbed knit turtleneck top ($980), plaid pants ($1,400), Princetown leather sandals ($790). Kemi, entrepreneur, founder and designer of KemiStudio5, community activist and educator. Pleated skirt with GG leash ($1,980), GG print socks ($210), pale blue crystal moiré calf boots with matching crystals ($950). Joi, pharmacy technician, cosmetologist and forex trader. Horseskin print beige avana python mid-high boots ($1,690). Fela Dosunmu (son of writer and photographer), businessman, founder of Damu Records, recording artist. GG print flared pants ($980). Richard Clay, musician, director, actor, artist and comedian. Alpaca jacquard wool cardigan ($2,500), leather belt with double G buckle ($480).

Jah LionKing, entrepreneur and owner of Ital Jah LionKing Juice. GG multicolor jersey sweater ($2,100). Ron Carter, jazz bassist, educator, author, art director and member of the Miles Davis Quartet. Stitched GG cotton cardigan ($1,400), GG flat hat ($415). Karoline, actress, writer, filmmaker. Loose black-ivory twill shirt with all-star black-ivory ($950), GG jersey running pants with web ($1,550). Miss Maleine, hair artist and braiding expert. Gucci Diana mid-size tote bag ($3,980). Sophia Hernandez, transgender activist, community builder, model. Rectangular sunglasses with chain ($595), Gucci horsebit 1955 small shoulder bag ($2,980).

Angelica Nicholas, a vegan chef and founder of IrieYank, a vegan company. Gucci label cotton bucket hat ($530). Elaine Thompson, baker, gardener, researcher, real estate agent, musician. One-sided tweed cardigan ($3,500). Rebecca Hailes, owner and designer of Thread Heads NYC. Gucci Pink Panther silk scarf ($495), Balenciaga Hourglass mini canvas bag ($2,500). Jeeniya Dewan, a media design student at the City of New York University of Technology. GG layered trench coat ($4,200), Gucci-branded denim flared pants ($950). Oumy Souane, a nursing and global public health student at New York University. Small shoulder bag GG Marmont (2,450), silk scarf ($495), gold sandals ($850).

About this story

All Gucci items are available at select Gucci stores or Fashion editor: Tori Leung. Hair and Grooming: Stacy Gray for SGrayUnlimited. Makeup: Kaitlan Pantin for SGrayUnlimited. | Photo essay: Gucci’s ease and grace


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