THIS SEASON, we meet Gucci in a moment of pause. Sabato De Sarno — the Italian designer who was announced as Alessandro Michele’s successor in January of this year — won’t present his first collection until September. So while he toils away in the background, Gucci’s in-house design team and its seasonal collaborators have the opportunity to clean the slate, and then prime it for what’s to come.
And so the brand debuted its spring 2024 menswear collection not on the runway, but via a digital lookbook. While most of the world consumed the looks online, the brand also held an in-person presentation. As part of the ‘Gucci Horsebeat Society’, an installation at Spazio Maiocchi that celebrated 70 years of the iconic (Tyler Durden-approved) Horsebit Loafer, the brand dedicated a room to the unveiling of its spring 2024 collection.
But the debut was not the only the focus of the event. Instead, Gucci let the new take a backseat to the classic — the classic being the brand’s iconic loafer.
Alongside pieces commissioned especially for the Horsebit installation, looks from the house’s spring collection could be found on mannequins, under the backdrop of a blue-lit room wallpapered designs by Australian artist Ed Davis.
This discourse between past and future was also present in the collection itself. With 20 looks toeing the line between referential and reflective, denim sets were posed alongside sharp tailoring, ’70s-style bootcut jeans with leather shorts, and crisp, Prince of Wales check alongside a spangly discotheque jumpsuit. There were evident nods to skate wear — in one snap from the lookbook a model, clad in an oversized hooded shirt and shorts, even holds a longboard — as well as sportswear, club kids and workwear; all anchored in double-G logos and hardware.
Where Gucci is headed under De Sarno’s vision remains a bit of a mystery. After years of Michele’s trademark eclecticism, most insiders are betting the brand’s new designer will usher in an era of simplicity. Its interim collections seem to suggest this — while a long way from minimalist, they are certainly more distilled than the maximalism of Gucci’s recent past. Time will tell. And in the meantime, we will be here, reading the tea leaves. Surely, this spring/summer 2024 collection, which is ultimately defined by really beautiful separates, contains a few hints as to what will follow.
Sometimes a moment of pause is exactly what you need.
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