If a picture speaks a thousand words, then memes can launch a thousand likes on social media, especially if you have the wisecrack of Insta-famous personalities and meme creators like @thefatjewish. Part of Gucci’s branding and marketing genius is the fact that it’s so connected to the social media world and remains accessible and relatable to its new millennial fan base.
Its creative director Alessandro Michele is known for being a serial talent hunter on social media and has turned up with some genius collaborations with the likes of San Francisco-based illustrator @mrsjaydefish for spring/summer ’17 and @cococapitan for fall. Michele’s discovery of these under-the-radar creatives and cultural provocateurs means that they would most often, than not, turn into the next big thing in pop culture and art.
That seems to be exactly what we foresee to happen with the latest meme-slash-watch campaign that the brand just launched on its Instagram. Called the #TFWGUCCI, the “TFW” in the moniker is a nod to how memes usually being with the words, “That feeling when…” As its name suggests, the entire campaign blitz works around the concept of memes by 29 different artists and meme-creators, featuring the brand’s range of watches.
Besides works by the popular meme designers like Willy Ndatila and Jessica Anteby, what sticks out about this project is the rebellious attitude, alternative slant and humour not seen in previous projects undertaken by a luxury brand. Think a model’s face covered in a Gucci dust bag or Gucci’s snake motif and watch design tattooed on a model’s face. Perhaps the most notable move by Michele here is the fact that some of the names he plucked off social media are relative unknowns with Instagram followings which do not even cross the 1,000 mark.
Could Michele be fashion’s most hardworking curator? What’s for sure his pick has got us already following these names on social media. Here, we highlight some of them most exciting talents from this creative outing.
Following at press time: 965
Who: Milan-based illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli whose colourful and graphic drawings, reminiscent of a modern-day Heinz Edelmann, have landed on the pages of The New York Times, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. Her Casa Futura account is a delightful and cheery chronicle of classical Milanese homes. For Gucci, she created miniature — and imaginary — home setups inhabited by the timepieces and captioned them with absurd listings.
Following at press time: 759
Who: The Paris-based collage artist Edouard Taufenbach is like a latter day Eadweard Muybridge, the 19th century English photographer who revolutionised motion-picture projection. Taufenbach’s nostalgic aesthetic is coupled with a large dose of wit for the Gucci project. The timepiece is superimposed into a vintage photograph with the caption: “When you’re all dressed up waiting for that ‘we outside’ text”.
Following at press time: 846
Who: This three-man Milan-based collective is secretive about their identities (but we know they’re made up of a stylist, photographer and video-maker) and create equally anonymous — and chilling –characters in their work. Among them: models totally covered in bodysuits. Their interpretation for the timepieces? A Gucci-clad model covered on the head with a Gucci bag.
Following at press time: 998
Who: The New York-based lensman with the dreamy and romantic eye. Flowers are his thing and these are often shot with a kind of languorous beauty or printed in a larger-than-life size as installations. He captures that same spirit with his Gucci project, featuring an image of a man clutching several branches of flowers.
Following at press time: 436
Who: Veronesi is a Paris-based Italian mixed media artist who dabbles with sculptures and watercolour painting among others. Her works are lively, surrealist, yet sensuous, as seen in the clay figurines she created for Gucci, complete with rings.