Gucci’s new marketing campaign is an ode to the genius of Stanley Kubrick

Since joining Gucci in 2015, Alessandro Michele has challenged the fashion world’s status quo with his cutting-edge designs and brilliantly offbeat campaigns, which are typically laden with historical and pop culture references.

The fashion house’s AW22 campaign is further proof of the creative director’s ability to surprise and delight audiences, paying homage to the work of none other than legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

2001: A Space Odyssey and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

It’s not the first time that the self-confessed cinephile has referenced cinema in his work at Gucci; the brand’s AW17 campaign featured a series of outlandish scenarios affectionately borrowed from the classic sci-fi of yesteryear.

“I’ve always been charmed by cinema. For its power to tell stories that can probe human adventure and its drift. For its visionary power to dig up in the real, making it vertiginously imaginative and questionable,” says Michele.

“If you ask me, a garment is not, and never will be, just a piece of fabric. It’s rather the means through which we are able to unfold who we really decide to be, it’s how we shape our desires and the ultimate sense of our staying. That’s why I’ve always imagined my collections as films able to convey a cinematography of the present: a score of stories, eclectic and dissonant, that can sacralise the human and its metamorphic ability.”

Titled Exquisite, the new film and print campaign includes designs from Gucci’s much-lauded recent collaboration with Adidas, placing them in the context of revisited scenes from some of Kubrick’s most famous films.

“Kubrick was, in essence, a real sculptor of genres: the ‘cross-genre’ director, ahead of his time. His ability to build stories that exceed significance, crossing borders and setting labels on fire, has always been deeply inspiring to me,” says Michele of the idea behind the campaign.

“As an act of love, I decided to reinhabit Kubrick’s films, pushing to the core this incendiary approach. I took the liberty of disassembling, blending, grafting and reassembling them. Sticking to my creative praxis, I seized those movies, resemanticising them, populating them with my clothes.”

Lensed and directed by photographic duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, with art direction by Michele’s long-time collaborator Christopher Simmonds, the campaign features replicas of original costume designs curated by Milena Canonero and Charlotte Walter. The sets, designed by Gideon Ponte, precisely replicate scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut.

As we’ve come to expect from Gucci’s creative output, the results are visually stunning. Not to mention the amount of time (and money) it must have taken for the brand to pull off the feat, working in partnership with University of the Arts London (home of the Stanley Kubrick Archive), Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and the Stanley Kubrick Film Archives.

Creative Director: Alessandro Michele
Art Director: Christopher Simmonds
Photographers & Directors: Mert & Marcus
Models’ Make up: Thomas De Kluyver
Models’ Hair: Paul Hanlon