As the Coronavirus rages on, fashion houses adjust to a new reality sans fixed collection launches and runway shows. For its part, Gucci kicks off this new era with the start of a virtual film and fashion festival, GucciFest.
From November 16-22, Gucci highlighted new products and designers through the GucciFest website, YouTube channel, and Weibo, to give fans around the world access to its one-of-a-kind show. GucciFest’s main attraction is a new seven episode series called The OUVERTURE of Something That Never Ended. Each episode of the show introduced new items from the collection and featured Gucci’s celebrity ambassadors, including Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Florence Welch. Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, helped design the collection and direct the limited series, which focuses on one woman’s surreal new routine around Rome during the pandemic. In addition to the show, GucciFest includes a series of short films spotlighting 15 up-and-coming designers, who will get to preview their own collections via video. The emerging talents were all hand selected by Michele to participate in GucciFest, as part of the luxury label’s commitment to celebrating independent designers.
Gucci is promoting the fashionable festival on social media, including on Twitter, where it released scannable QR codes to take viewers to its microsite. On Instagram Gucci tapped into Reels to give behind the scenes looks at preparation for GucciFest and its out-of-home advertising promotions. Launching different marketing tactics for different channels allows Gucci to show off unique aspects of its festival and further demonstrate that not “one size fits all” when it comes to fashion collections and promotions. To gauge fan excitement around the festival, Gucci uses the hashtag #GucciFest, which social media users are encouraged to include in any posts or captions regarding the event. Creating a social media hashtag for the digital festival allows Gucci to interact with a set audience through its channels and potentially determine how hyped users are for GucciFest.
This past May, Michele announced via short film that Gucci would adopt a “seasonless” approach to future collections. GucciFest is now the first event of this new era, and shows how the fashion industry as a whole is remodelling its schedules after unprecedented disruptions during the pandemic. By disregarding traditional “spring-summer” and “fall-winter” timelines, Gucci can set itself apart from competitor labels and create its own virtual world to engage consumers, according to a Gartner report. This new stage of luxury could give the brand more control over how it interacts with consumers and maintains digital engagement. Given the festival’s virtual accessibility to supporters around the world, Gucci could turn the event into an annual show, which could help extend its audience reach and loyalty.
Gucci breaks from traditional fashion events with the kick off of GucciFest. By doing so, the luxury label can engage with fans on its own terms and set the stage for future, digital events that give it the freedom to promote products in a fashion it prefers.