The Gucci Pre-Fall 2018 ad campaign, directed by Glen Luchford, is inspired by the bold, experimental and iconoclastic French Nouvelle Vague filmmakers of the late ’50s and ’60s. The Gucci tribe, which we have followed over previous seasons from Florence and Berlin to Tokyo and Rome, moves to Paris.
Gucci’s young rebels occupy a university campus in a gesture of optimism, idealism and passion. Unafraid to express themselves, they unite in a desire to celebrate change and challenge the establishment. The imagery, shot by Glen Luchford, is inspired by the bold, experimental and iconoclastic French Nouvelle Vague of the late Fifties, and Sixties, a movement that included radical filmmakers François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.
The protests of 1968 began in May, when students marched on the Sorbonne University. The time was ripe for change, fuelled by the new cultural lingua franca of rock ‘n’ roll, the existential philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and a new politics of participatory democracy. The action of the Parisian students had a ripple effect that engaged the workers and intellectuals of the country and led to repercussions well beyond France’s borders.
Gucci’s campaign captures the spirit of that extraordinary moment. But, as well as recalling a specific time and place, there is also an illusion here to the urban grittiness of the cinema of the mid-Nineties. However, unlike that genre, Gucci’s take on youthful rebellion is at its heart romantic rather than angry – after-all, these young dreamers quote verse by bohemian symbolist poet Rimbaud and come together under the banner of Liberté, égalité, sexualité. Indeed, in three film teasers for the campaign, student couples exchange secret notes in a classroom during a poetry lesson, each bearing a love slogan.