Fashion reflects what is known as zeitgeist: The dominant set of ideals and beliefs that motivate the actions of the members of a society in a particular period in time. The most successful brands build predictive models that help them accurately forecast the future. It doesn’t pay to be fashionably late. Measuring and conceptualizing future trends requires an understanding of generational theories, a variety of cyclical theories, and story patterns.
Gucci, the Italian luxury fashion company, has been performing at an exceptional rate after a relative drought. The recent rise and popularity of the brand amongst Millennials have the media and business world talking. To a great extent, what motivates most human action stems from the unconscious and is constantly being influenced by our environment. The media is always full of explanations as to who, how, and what, but the highest quality of knowledge comes from asking why. A visit to Gucci’s website will provide the answer.
The Prima Materia
“Fashion is about creating emotion—it’s not necessarily rational.” – Marco Bizzarri , Gucci CEO
Brand strategy is allied with myth. Hidden yet forceful, archetypes form the basis of these myths – which are personified as the gods and goddesses of ancient Rome and Greece. Archetypes work as ‘strange attractors’ that inform the psyche and drive a person in a certain direction.
Anthropologists and sociologists have long been fascinated by clothing and what it says about the inner workings of an individual and society as a whole. Analysts have uncovered that symbols found in clothing can be read like a language, either revealing or concealing. Perhaps the most significant characteristic of a symbol is that you are not fully aware of its meaning as it relates to you.
Some of the symbols expressed throughout Gucci’s website and merchandise is listed below.
Skull + flower
Bees + stars
Chaos, Cosmos, And The Gift Of Love
In the beginning, there was chaos.
According to the creation from chaos myth, initially, there is nothing but a formless, shapeless expanse. Creation by its very nature is to create something from nothing.
According to modern chaos theory, everything in the universe is interconnected thus mutually dependent. The most common example of this is the “Butterfly effect” – the fluttering of a butterfly’s wing in Tokyo affects weather in New York. The “innovation butterfly” is a metaphor that was conceived as a specific instance of the butterfly effect. Chaos precedes creativity. The butterfly is the symbol of Psyche, the goddess of the soul, and represents metamorphosis, transformation, and self-renewal.
The god of chaos is Dionysus. He is a god of epiphany (the god who comes), wine and winemaking, fertility, resurrection, and mostly known as the god that brings us joy. The joy he brings comes from feeling connected to others, the body, with the ability for spontaneous self-expression.
Dionysus had a dual nature. He brought joy and pleasure or he would bring blazing and brutal rage. This reflected the dual nature of wine.
Dionysus was menacing to the status quo. He would question the establishment and used humor to knock elitists off their pedestal. He stirred things up to reveal what was confining and oppressive in the old to make room for new realities. He aimed not only to have abundance but also a society that can savor what it has and be grateful for it.
Dionysus causes madness and then cures it.
Unlike the other Gods, Dionysus was not merely a god to be worshipped, but he was also present within his followers. He became one of the most important gods in everyday life and was associated with several key concepts. One was rebirth after death.
Transformation, Transmutation, And Transcendence
“Most people are shaped to the form of their culture because of the enormous malleability of their original endowment. They are plastic to the moulding force of the society into which they are born.” – Ruth Benedict, Patterns Of Culture
It is said that within every woman is a man, and within every man is a woman. Human beings are a clash of opposites. In order to live fully, we must reconcile these polarities into a unity of wholeness. Gucci symbolizes this as the Great Hermaphrodite.
Snakes represent the primordial life force. Creators, destroyers and sacred beings, snakes signify renewal, rebirth, and immortality through the shedding of its skin. A form of this primal energy is known as kundalini, or “coiled one”. Once awakened, bliss and a range of supernatural powers are found. Ophidia is how Gucci expresses this creative life force within humans.
Tiger’s represent passion, power, sensuality, and display great motherly devotion. Equipped with strong instinct and intuition, leopard’s help with overcoming our demons and haunts, and renewal of vision and vitality. The jaguar signifies reclaiming one’s true power. In ancient Greece, the honeybee was a symbol of The Great Mother.
The goal of transcendence is the successful integration of all aspects of a personality, even the concealed ones.
“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”
Now back to your regular scheduled brand programming.