The Viral Effect: Gucci

Petra Collins for Gucci Eyewear

Petra Collins for Gucci Eyewear

Whether referenced in songs, plastered in music videos, or worn by our favorite  influencers/celebrities, Gucci has undeniably transitioned into the forefront of popular culture. For a brand that has existed for nearly ninety-eight years, the drastic increase in sales within the past few years may perplex many. Specifically within the younger generation, the brand Gucci serves as the most desired luxury brand, coveted for its vibrant colors, gaudy prints/patches, and of course, the iconic logo. It may appear coincidental that Gucci’s popularity has skyrocketed. However, it appears that strategic efforts of the brand to understand popular culture demands have led to the rise of Gucci.

Alessandro Michele, as the current creative director of Gucci, granted the brand the image it presently contains. Gucci’s identity as a brand centers on grandeur and maximalism. Maximalism within fashion includes ostentatious designs and prominent logos. The usage of maximalism also furthers the hype surrounding brands as the products are easily recognizable and desired if used by popular figures. With the birth of social media influencers, there is a new demographic of individuals with disposable incomes, being the millennial generation. Millennial influencers create the trend and incite others to covet their styles. Michele reaches this youthful demographic with a certain celebrity status, which in turn reinforce the appeal of his collections.

Currently, media is immensely consumed and has the potential to be shared rapidly on international scales. Michele recognizes this viral culture and marked a notable shift in the brand by creating pieces that were highly recognizable. Youtube, serving as one of the primary forms of media and entertainment for the younger generation, centers on influencers of a similar age with disposable incomes to purchase luxury goods, such as Gucci products. The appearance of recognizable Gucci products within these media outlets allows notable figures to showcase their wealth, while simultaneously marketing the product to viewers. It is also evident that the most popular items are inspired by his youthful clientele, incorporating playful designs and trends, such as street style. These distilled, youthful designs and emphasis on labels thus are consistent with the viral nature of video culture. Videos, as well as other modern media forms, may be similarly distilled and transmitted, creating notoriety. This understanding paired with the brand’s ostentatious aesthetic feeds video culture and the affluent youth. The rise of the brand is thus credited to the collaborative efforts of Alessandro Michele and the viral effect of our current society.

Fashion commentator, Luke Meagher breaks down the recent success of Gucci on his channel, HauteleMode.

YouTubers Emma Chamberlain (17), Ethan Dolan (19), Grayson Dolan (19), and James Charles (19) dress each other in luxury fashion, featuring several Gucci products.

YouTubers Emma Chamberlain (17), Ethan Dolan (19), Grayson Dolan (19), and James Charles (19) dress each other in luxury fashion, featuring several Gucci products.

Claudia Morgan