The Rise of the Gucci Superfan

It is the first day of September and under a cloudless blue sky, Bond Street is buzzing with lunchtime shoppers. With new season pieces being dropped into stores at regular intervals, there appears to more of a heightened sense of retail fervour than usual. Such is the case at the Gucci flagship boutique where a steady stream of chauffeur driven Jaguars come and go, dispatching shoppers directly to the front door.

For several months, stanchions have become a common fixture outside this busy Bond Street address. More likely to be seen at red carpet events, the cordons are there to enforce ‘crowd control’ as ever growing numbers of Gucci aficionados flock here from all four corners of the globe.

The rise of the ‘superfan’ – affluent twenty somethings mostly, still living at home – are enthusiastic followers of fashion. Their loyalty lies with their leader, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. Since taking up the post in January 2015, the Renaissance man has turned the Florentine fashion house on its head, by introducing a wide range of covetable items at accessible price points. In doing so, he has re-ignited the brand’s cult status and attracted great swathes of millennials, hungry for news.

With big hits such as the Ace sneaker, double G buckle belts and signature florals, snake and butterfly motifs, each new piece is instantly propelled into the Gucci fanosphere via the power of social media. Today, some 17.2 million devotees follow the Gucci Instagram feed. Meanwhile, Gucci sales have seen a rise of 43 per cent in the first six months of this year alone.

Curious to know what makes this celebrated luxury brand so successful right now, we asked this trio of diehard fans to show us their purchases and tell us why they ‘heart’ Gucci so much.

Name: Lachlan Dix

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Age: 18

Occupation: Student – business marketing.

Lives: London

I am the first to admit to being a Gucci ‘superfan’. The Gucci brand has risen up under Alessandro Michele. He has made it cool again and introduced a whole new series of must-have products to the mix. There is so much diversity in the Gucci men’s collections now. The clothes are no longer beige. Instead they are bright and colourful. I came here looking to buy a white suit jacket to wear to a dinner party tonight. I couldn’t afford anything from Gucci until recently and now I own so many pieces including the Ace sneakers, track pants, and my most treasured item, a Gucci double G silver necklace. I am prepared to wait for the latest pieces. I waited two months for a shell suit hoodie from the S/S 2017 collection to arrive in store and have already chosen some pieces from the online A/W 2017 lookbook. I subscribed to the website and that’s where I get all the latest Gucci news. Then there is Instagram of course. Alessandro’s use of ‘memes’- images of animated GIFs, often with text splashed across them and then shared on social media – makes Gucci completely different to any other brands currently out there. He is a genius!

 

Nicole Jeary

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Age: 23

Occupation: Content writer at the Investment Observer

Lives: London  

My mother is Italian and has always been a fan of Gucci and its Italian heritage, so I grew up admiring her Gucci bags and boots. Gucci today is very contemporary, eclectic and fun – I really like their new direction, it’s a fresh, youthful spin on the classic style of the house. I just got a promotion at work so I came to buy myself a card holder to celebrate. I’d already done a bit of research before coming here today and knew for a while that I wanted this particular design. The blush pink colour is a nice change from black, which I would usually have opted for. It is actually my first Gucci piece, so I’m really excited about it. For a luxury goods brand, the accessories are at a good price point and are something special that you’ll have with you for a long time. Alessandro Michele has really revitalised the brand in recent years. I like the fact that he is not afraid of colour. And I reckon I’ve probably liked every one of Gucci’s Instagram posts.

 

Name: Selina Lalin

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Age: 21

Occupation:  Student – business management

Lives: Thailand

I make sure I come to London every month for shopping. Bond Street is where all the big brands are located in one convenient place. I love Gucci. It is one of my favourite luxury brands. I came to the store today to buy a hat for my next beach holiday. It is packed in a really beautiful box, which they then put in this enormous shopping bag. I really like Gucci’s use of embroidery throughout the women’s collections. Everyone is wearing the Gucci Ace sneakers – I like the ones which have a bee motif embroidered on the side. Alessandro Michele has really taken the brand in a new direction over the past few seasons. What I like about Gucci now, is that it still carries the classic Gucci pieces such as the double G logo bags but Alessandro has made sure it is really fashion-forward by adding really modern pieces such as shoes, sunglasses and T-Shirts. When everybody tends to look the same these days, Gucci really makes you stand out from the crowd.

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