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In spite of controversal clothing, Gucci perserveres

by Christopher Suarez - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Mar 5th 2019 10:00 pm

For this column, there is something new. Prior brands I spoke about have been popular streetwear, but today I will be talking about the controversial luxury brand Gucci, a name that holds a lot of power in the fashion industry. Unlike other brands, Gucci has been a dominant force in the fashion world for almost 100 years. First founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, the brand has made it through four United States wars. 

The brand has earned the respect of the fashion industry due to its longevity. Fashion brands do not usually maintain popularity for as long as Gucci has. It is human nature for people to move on from the old and adapt to the new, but Gucci has its consumers locked in through the flexibility of the brand. By not conforming to one sense of style, the brand has maintained its popularity by adapting to trends while also remaining true to its original concept. 

When Guccio Gucci opened the first store in Florence, Italy in 1921, the brand sold leather handbags and suitcases. What helped Gucci stand out from the rest of the brands was its diverse use of material. According to wwd.com, instead of using imported leathers the brand created a specially woven canapa or hemp from Naples. This was a monumental move because Gucci did not have to rely on an outside source for its material. 

For years, Gucci did not expand outside of Italy. It wasn’t until 1953 when the brand expanded into the U.S., opening its first flagship store in New York City. Guccio Gucci died at age 72, just 15 days before the opening of the shop. The brand did not let the founder’s tragic death slow down its progress, though. Gucci handbags would go on to become so popular that late first lady Jacqueline Kennedy wore them.

The brand has grown from strictly handbags to what it is today, and mainstream media has taken the brand and consumed it. Gucci is now a staple in fashion, partially thanks to celebrities like former professional boxer, Floyd Mayweather, hip-hop group Migos and others who have promoted the brand. But the support from these celebrities has been taken away because of a recent racist piece dropped by the brand. Gucci recently released a face mask that resembles black face. The face mask also coming in as a turtleneck, is all black with something that looks like lips around the mouth. This is very controversial because back in the 19th century, television programs would paint the faces of white actors in all black with big red lips to try to resemble African Americans. 

The brand is now being boycotted and social media is in a frenzy over it. But what causes this major boycott is the brand’s new appeal to the youth. In the last couple of years, the brand has released multiple pieces that are similar to the fashion trends seen today. 

The most sought out piece that the brand released is the Gucci sneakers. The clean looking sneaker is similar to the Nike Air Monarchs. This is following a growing trend of the “dad shoe” which many brands are using. The Rhyton Gucci Logo leather sneaker is priced at $890 and in my opinion, is a waste of money. Why waste almost a thousand dollars on a pair of sneakers when they look very similar to the Nike Air Monarchs, which cost $55. You will be paying $800 dollars more for a Gucci logo and that is ridiculous. 

Despite the high prices and the recent racist incidents, if high end fashion is your thing, Gucci is the way to go. Very few other brands have better quality of clothing than Gucci and it deserves the respect it gets across the fashion world. 

But if you have never shopped from Gucci, the best pieces are the handbags and backpacks. Gucci offers some of the most unique looking bags in the fashion world. The outlandish designs resemble a combination of mountain climbing book bags and medieval design. The best backpack is the large floral velvet jacquard backpack. This is the most unique looking piece you will find on the brands website. Priced at $3,980, the backpack features a green layout with floral designs intricately placed around the backpack. 

Hopefully the brand is able to learn from its mistake and not release racially offensive clothing. With its rich history and amazing designs, I’m sure the brand will be able to get back to its old form. 

 

campustalk.editor@gmail.com | @chrissuarez0428