Alessandro Michele has been showing men’s and women’s pieces on each Gucci runway since he was named as the brands creative director in 2015. Now, the designer has announced beginning in 2017, the Italian label will officially combine their shows and only host one runway presentation per season.
“It seems only natural to me to present my men’s and women’s collections together. It’s the way I see the world today,” Alessandro Michele said in a statement. “It will not necessarily be an easy path and will certainly present some challenges, but I believe it will give me the chance to move towards a different kind of approach to my story telling.“The news isn’t novel: earlier this year Burberry and Vetements made similar announcements. Michele’s move parts from theirs in that Gucci will not be adopting the “see now, buy now,” format that his contemporaries are moving towards.
The decision to continue showing six months ahead of pieces going in stores keeps Gucci in step with the consensus of the Italian and French fashion industries. While New York brands are forcing immediacy, international fashion weeks disagree. “New York has always been the land of branding and marketing. We and France, we are more the area of creativity and manufacturing,” honorary chairman of the Italian fashion chamber Mario Boselli said in a statement to the Associated Press. “I think the logic is different. They follow their interest, we follow ours.”
Even stateside some designers have shown dissent from the straight to consumer model. CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund 2015 nominee Chris Gelinas posed some poignant questions at his most recent show. “Why?! I haven’t had a reaction yet; I haven’t seen what people think,” he told the Observer about possibly switching formats “My clients haven’t said ‘I love this, maybe that’s not for me.’ You know, [the whole collection] can’t all be hits, you’re lucky if in one season you have a couple pieces that clients go crazy for.”
The points were valid in that the six month waiting period typically serves as a time for editing and incubation of the collection’s ideas. Without that designers could make the wrong decisions about which designs to produce for mass consumption.