Gucci’s New Ad Campaign Spotlights Black Models After Brand Is Criticized for Lack of Diversity

That melanin, though! Gucci gave a sneak peek of its upcoming ad campaign that features nine black models — a far cry from its less diverse campaigns that drew ire from the within the fashion community. 

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On Thursday, January 26, Gucci shared nine Instagram clips from a London casting call for its Pre Fall 2017 campaign. Aspiring models Camille, Franck, Zen, Alton, Jonah, Chauncey, Akua, Abdulaye and Sharifa all shared their “spirit animals” and their personal definition of what it means to have soul. They also performed a few dance moves for a behind-the-camera casting agent, getting down to a groovy track. 

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“Dance is an important part of this story and consequently the casting reflects this,” a brand spokesperson told Business of Fashion. “However, it is also the case that Alessandro Michele has always celebrated diversity in all of its forms in his approach to his work.”

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Perhaps Michele caught wind of casting director James Scully’s thoughts at VOICES, a Business of Fashion panel in December 2016. There, he gave Gucci “two thumbs down for lack of diversity” in its work. But he had nothing but positive things to say about this new campaign. 

“It has the potential to be an amazing game changer,” he told the website, shortly after the campaign videos dropped. “There is only a handful of designers at one time that dictates what the idea of beauty is through their shows and advertising. And since this is a business of followers, it’s incredibly important the tone they set especially when the world is watching you … This could reset the damage done and start the business back on the road of inclusiveness. Bravo to Alessandro!”

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