After years of major fashion houses facing criticism for lack of racial diversity — both on runways and in print — Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2017 campaign, Soul Scene, is an incredible display of style and black culture.
Akua Shabaka, a model featured in the campaign, said she was surprised when she found out she’d been cast for a Gucci campaign with all black models. “When I found out it was for Gucci, I automatically thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to be the only black girl there,’” she told NewsHour. Instead, she discovered she was a part of a group of black models cast from all over the black diaspora.
The lively images, shot by British fashion photographer Glen Luchford, capture a sense of fun and sophistication revered by the tastemakers and youth of the 1960s. Inspiration came from England’s underground Northern Soul movement, sparked by the prominent uprising of black American soul music of the 1960s, as well as Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, who died in 2016. Sidibé was well known for black and white photography that captured the exuberant black youth and party culture in his hometown of Bamako, Mali.
In a press release, Gucci said its Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, was inspired by an exhibit called, “Made You Look” at the Photographer’s Gallery in London. The exhibit, which featured the work of Malick Sidibé, focused on black masculinity and dandyism.
Gucci did not respond to a request for an interview from NewsHour.
Since Gucci’s posting of the newest campaign on social media, fans have been applauding the iconic brand for their inclusiveness. The Model Alliance, a nonprofit labor group for models, told NewsHour the new fashion line was important. “Through social media, the consumers are calling…