The iconic Italian brand unveils its latest ad campaign for its pre-fall 2017 collection “Soul Scene,” which features an all-black bevy of models donning Alessandro Michele’s designs. Shot by Glen Luchford, Gucci’s newest hippie fashion blitz of fanny packs, sequins, fur, leather booties, kaleidoscopic tops and dresses, is designed to look like a black, late-1960s dance party.
It references “the spirit of England’s underground Northern Soul movement of the 60s” (in line with black American soul?) and celebrates the “flamboyance and self-expression of men and women who challenge the conventions of society through performance, art and dance.” However refreshing this feels coming on the heels of a string of campaigns that have been exclusively white, are we really buying this and calling it “soul?”
Are the lines of appropriation being blurred? Is this cultural appropriation? Should we at all be offended? After all, there’s a price tag on it and someone will profit off of this. Or, is seeing a full cast of black models dancing, smiling and at the center of a joyous and culturally significant occasion cause for even a little celebration?