From heritage house Gucci, Dior to the emerging 032C and Toogood, see how the fashion brands made their name in this multi-hyphenate era.
Since the coming of Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s aesthetical point of view has caused seismic fashion waves, with his maximalist influence touching upon the worlds of art, food, music and pop culture. Everyone wants a slice of Michele’s pie and Gucci has cast their net wide. One of their initiatives, Gucci Places, sees them link up with a network of locations around the world that reflect their own unique sensibilities: users are offered a dedicated guide through the brand’s app where they can check-in and win a badge.
In conjunction with three-Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura, the Italian fashion house has also opened a 50-seat restaurant in Gucci Garden — a museum-cum-retail concept store – in the heart of Florence. Gucci Osteria features various dishes that display Bottura’s deft hand with pasta, as well as luxurious takes on the humble hotdog and hamburger.
Inspired by music, creative director Alessandro Michele has invited musicians and artists to work together to produce artwork that features their latest eyewear collection for Gucci’s digital channels. #GucciGig saw musicians such as Italian producer Populous team with illustrator Odd Arts to create fantasy flyer art (for a DJ set taking place in ancient Greece). Each musician was also tasked with creating a playlist for Gucci’s Spotify account.
Aside from sharing its name with a most vibrant shade of red in the Pantone Matching System, 032c is a self-described “collectible manual for freedom, research, and creativity.”
Founded in 2000 by husband-and-wife team Joerg and Maria Koch, the biannual publication from Berlin has become the indie bible for cool (it is one of the very few titles that cult skate brand Supreme advertises with).
The Kochs were quick to pick up on the fashion merch trend and in late 2015, they began producing 032c branded items. The collection began with basic t-shirts, sweatshirts and socks, but when apparel sales quickly outstripped revenue generated from the magazine, they realised the potential of the brand they had created. With a background in fashion design, Mrs Koch took the reins and began to develop a complete ready-to-wear collection.
Their first menswear show debuted at Pitti Uomo in January 2018, swiftly followed by a fully-fledged womenswear collection that showed in London in November. With his wife as creative director of their apparel line, Mr Koch simultaneously holds the roles of editor-in-chief for both his own publication 032c, as well as Canadian fashion e-tailer Ssense.
Dior’s first-ever female creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, has long been inspired by dance, culminating in a collaboration with Elaonora Abbagnato — Director of Ballet at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma — on specially designed costumes for Ballet Nuit Blanche (choreographed by young talent Sébastien Bertaud). Dior is no stranger to the wider world of art, with its founder Christian Dior having his own beginnings as a gallerist before finding success as a couturier. Monsieur Dior also found inspiration from the world of dance, designing costumes for a ballet by Roland Petit the very same year he debuted the “New Look”.
Stretching a little further afield, Dior has also debuted its first collection of objets d’art for the home. The Maison gave designers Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci of Dimore Studio carte blanche on creating a 14-piece collection which debuted at the Salone del Mobile earlier this year. Items such as vases, a lighter, candelabra and an umbrella stand took design cues from surrealism and cubism—two artistic movements that Monsieur Dior himself favoured. The stunning collection is available by special order for one year only.
The sisters Toogood are exactly as their name implies. Older sister Faye had her beginnings as a prop stylist for The World of Interiors magazine. After having worked her way up the masthead to interiors editor, she left in 2008 to set up Studio Toogood, a multidisciplinary studio that provides creative direction and consultancy.
Faye has worked on installations for Hermès and Dover Street Market in London as well as the Comme des Garcons flagship in Aoyama. She has designed wallpaper for Calico and created a range of tiles for ceramics brand Made a Mano, and was commissioned by developers Cube Haus to design affordable modular houses. More recently, she was tasked with giving British luxury brand Mulberry a completely new retail concept for their flagship on Regent Street.
In 2013, along with her younger sister Erica (a pattern cutter who makes bespoke suits), the first Toogood clothing line was launched in the Marais area during Paris Fashion Week. Their collection of eight unisex coats not only drew the attention of the industry’s top retailers, but they were also paid a visit by Rei Kawakubo.