Gucci Embraces Its Own Ridiculousness, Memes Itself
#TFW when Gucci is hilarious.
For being a multi-billion dollar business, fashion is a little ridiculous. (Case in point: These $590 Vetements cropped sweatpants exist.) But every once in a while, the industry will poke fun at its own over-the-top antics — if for no other reason than to respond to all the haters out there with an admission of absurdity.
Gucci, maker of both the original to-die-for furry loafer slides, as well as nifty sock sandals (the latest Nordstrom product to be mocked on Twitter), launched the "#TFW [That Feeling When] Gucci" campaign Friday morning in collaboration with celebrated meme creators (@textsfromyourexistentialist, @beigecardigan) and visual artists (Amanda Charchian, Olaf Breuning) as a way to mock itself and creative director Alessandro Michele's more ostentatious designs. The works all feature timepieces from various lines, and are tied to the release of Le Marche des Merveilles collection.
"The final memes are either the result of a two-way or three-way collaboration and once more demonstrate Alessandro Michele’s desire to engage with a wider creative community than that which traditionally locates around the world of fashion," said the company in a release.
The millennial-targeted campaign (though let's be honest, memes are hilarious at any age) follows on the heels of the fashion house's various social-centric features, including their Snapchat project #24HourAce and the Instagram campaign #GucciGram.
But perhaps more chuckle-inducing than the memes are the definitions provided for those who aren't fluent in Internet speak. "This is an example of a reaction meme — an image a user reposts to express their own feelings," reads the caption of one of the memes featuring a 16th century painting by an Italian Renaissance artist. "Here, Eleonora is disappointed in the quality of gifts from her potential suitor."
If you're keen on reading up on the history of memes themselves (did you know the word was coined in 1976?), writer Kyle Chakya has also detailed a comprehensive history of the digital phenomenon on Gucci's microsite dedicated to the project, where you can also find the complete collection of memes.
#TFWGucci William Ndatila (@williamcult) has a darkly luxurious aesthetic. His addictive Instagram feed ranges from memes to videos of upcoming DJs and eerie images, curating a personal style from found digital material. For #TFWGucci and #LeMarchédesMerveilles timepiece, Ndatila found Italian Renaissance painter Agnolo Bronzino’s portrait of Eleonora di Toledo, created in 1560, and captioned it. This is an example of a reaction meme—an image a user reposts to express their own feelings. Here, Eleonora is disappointed in the quality of gifts from her potential suitor. — Text by @kchayka. Read more through link in bio.
Debuting #TFWGucci (That Feel When Gucci). The House’s new collaborative art project in the digital space is a lineup of memes featuring the new #LeMarchédesMerveilles collection of watches. Kicking off the collection of original memes is LA-based artist @amanda_charchian’s collaboration together with @textsfromyourexistentialist. Discover more through link in bio.
#TFWGucci Social networks are our everyday vernacular, creating endless archives of images that are entertaining, disturbing, or titillating. @meatwreck, a collaboration between artists Mitra Saboury and Derek Paul Boyle, enlivens the digital stream with their own blend of organic and surreal imagery. A foot sprouts plants, a piece of meat is framed, or a woman sleeps between mattresses instead of on top. Inspired by @beigecardigan, the duo pictures a #LeMarchédesMerveilles timepiece for #TFWGucci bursting out of the wearer’s suit. ‑ Text by @kchayka. Discover more through link in bio.
#TFWGucci The work of LA-based artist @amanda_charchian is characterized by her uniquely female-focused approach to the Surrealist tradition. With mysterious, witchy characters—think a crystal-incrusted spider sculpture that trembles in the wind, or a circle of ginger women linked together by their braided hair—they’re impossible to forget. It’s no wonder that her career spans both the fine art and commercial fashion world, and has included both gallery shows and editorial commissions for Vogue Italia. Her collaborative memes for #TFWGucci with the hilarious @textsfromyourexistentialist create a feminine duo: sensual, funny, and unapologetic, with an underlying darkness from the eponymous philosophy. - Text by @tatianaberg. Discover more through link in bio.
#TFWGucci Less (@less_photo) is a Korean artist who narrowed his focus to taking pictures because “moments which seemed difficult for me to experience were kept within photographs” — the image is a way to understand the world. Less’s aesthetic is frenetic and bright; the bodies he documents are always moving, caught in the midst of action. Less also shoots empty rooms and still life compositions, seen in the #TFWGucci #LeMarchédesMerveilles images. Two mugs seem to be holding hands around the timepiece, hinting at a living narrative. Derek Lucas (@champagneemojis) contributed the image’s caption. - Text by @helenh0lmes. Discover more through link in bio.