Gucci Rocks Its 100th Birthday

We’re not exactly sure how they managed the research – but as it turns out, the word “Gucci” has appeared in a full 22,705 songs from 1921 to date (though we’re guessing none of them were by Woody Guthrie or Joni Mitchell). These days, of course, the Italian fashion house is often exalted in hip-hop lyrics, though it must be clarified that Gucci Mane’s nom de guerre actually came from his grandmother.

Gucci (not Mane) also happens to be turning 100 this year; and to celebrate they organized an era-spanning musical extravaganza that somehow manages to stretch from classic jazz to retro Japanese punk. The accompanying long form video is something of an homage to the legendary but now-fifteen-years-gone British pop show Top of the Pops, coming off like a lost episode from sometime during the late 1960s (the host is rather comically dressed like a member of Herman’s Hermits, we think).

“It isn’t a revisionist attempt to rummage through the past,” explains Creative Director (since 2015) Alessandro Michele. “If anything, mine is a ‘reverse’ revisionism of the House’s history, stitched back together by a piercing note, a melody, a refrain. Also because, if I were to depict Gucci, for me it would be an eternal teenager who hangs out at places where music is heard and played.”

For the clip, some very musical models are decked out in fashions from Michele’s new Gucci 100 collection – and it opens with the perfect song for autumn 2021, Ella Fitzgerald‘s ‘I’ll Chase the Blues Away’, which is pretty much what we’re planning the spend the next couple of months doing. But then it awesomely launches into an obscure gem by all-girl Japanese punksters Nurse, which seriously cranks up the proceedings.

It then jumps stylistically around from Fela Kuti, to cult psych heroes 13th Floor Elevators, to Alicia Bridges’ disco classic ‘I Love the Nightlife,’ and then on to Ice Cube’s meditative ‘It Was a Good Day.’ And wasn’t it, though?

“The centennial, for me, represents an opportunity to bear witness to Gucci’s eternal vitality that year after year, is reborn,” Michele enthuses. “It renews itself, reestablishing an unusual relationship with contemporaneity as a boy, forever young, observing the world with a powerful vision. I recognized the manifestation of its youth in its having intercepted and traversed, for one hundred years now, popular culture in all its forms. Above all, in music: the only medium, aside from fashion, more reactive to the times that mutate and mark the new, the today, the now.”

Happy 100th, Gucci!

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