EVER SINCE GUCCI’S new creative director Sabato De Sarno debuted his first womenswear collection in September—which harked back to the sex appeal of Tom Ford’s days at the Italian house—the menswear set has been wondering what the designer’s vision for Gucci men’s will look like. And while we were prepared to wait until January, when De Sarno will send his autumn 2024 men’s collection down the runway in Milan, the fashion God’s have gifted us an early peek courtesy of some of the world’s coolest people. And things are looking very slick indeed.
At the LACMA Art + Film Gala (which Gucci also sponsors) over the weekend, A$AP Rocky, Pedro Pascal, Andrew Garfield, Elliot Page and more stepped out in unreleased looks by De Sarno, who was the director of men’s and women’s collections at Valentino before he scored the head job at Gucci earlier this year. Like most designer appointments these days, it was made clear from the get-go that De Sarno would be unveiling a stark new vision for the brand, which became synonymous with bohemian eclecticism under the leadership of former creative director Alessandro Michele. Needless to say, there was not a single feather, pussycat bow or prosthetic head—as Michele famously sent down the runway in 2018—to be seen on Rocky, Pascal, Garfield or Page.
A$AP Rocky, for one, sported a black double-breasted tuxedo, grey tie and sporty wraparound shades. The fit of the suit was far less languid than the bell-bottomed designs we’d become accustomed to under Michele’s reign—according to Gucci, De Sarno’s first steps into formal menswear involve bringing back the more straight-cut Italian suits of the ’90s, which, again, were bestsellers at Gucci under Tom Ford.
Pascal arrived in a black double-breasted suit too, but his was finished with bright white piping, which gave it a relaxed pyjama-like effect. Garfield’s suit had white piping too, but his came in Gucci’s brand new house colour, ‘Rosso Ancora’, which is a similar shade to a rich red wine. You might recall the colour being splashed across billboards all around the world ahead of De Sarno’s debut in September.
Rounding out this new Gucci gang was Elliot Page, who opted for an all-white Gucci suit. The actor finished it with his trademark silver chain and a pair of platformed Gucci creepers, a style of shoe that also made an appearance on the women’s runway in September, though the ladies platforms were far higher.
So, what can we take away from this soft launch? Firstly, it’s clear the aesthetic direction of De Sarno’s men’s collections will follow his Gucci women’s collections rather closely. While the clothing doesn’t appear as objectively gender fluid as Michele’s collections were, the stylistic nods between the two are evident. Nineties minimalism is bound to be a really big influence, as is a focus on fit and cut, which we can expect to play an especially big role in his men’s collections.
Like many collections we’ve seen this year, wearability also seems to be on De Sarno’s mind, which is bound to pay dividends in this economy.
It’s also worth pointing out that LACMA isn’t the only first peep we’ve had. Gucci recently unveiled a new campaign in celebration of its Horsebit 1953 loafer, which starred Irish actor Paul Mescal alongside Chinese singer and actor Xiao Zhan. The campaign marked 70 years of the iconic horsebit loafers, which are just as relevant as ever—take one look at Mescal’s feet for proof. It’s also worth noting the vibe of his blue jeans, crisp blue shirt and navy blue blazer are in cahoots with the classic yet cool aesthetic we saw on Rocky, Pascal and co. at the LACMA gala.
New Gucci is afoot, and we’re chomping at the (horse)bit to see more.