Gucci turned 100 in 2021, and is celebrating the end of its anniversary year with a series of projects inspired by the “mixtape.” The brand selected the analogue medium because it is symbolic of “creativity, care, and love,” but the mixtape is also a compelling format through which to explore fashion, where references and content from previous decades and distinct genres are freely recombined to create new, hybrid worlds.
The theme is explored this winter season across four “tracks,” the first being the notorious “Hacker Project.” Debuted with the Gucci Aria collection, the concept hijacks the codes of another luxury label: Balenciaga, whose creative director Demna Gvasalia is known for his experiments with appropriation and authenticity. Adopting the design language of Balenciaga – and Gvasalia’s own trademark – and melding it with the Italian label’s, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele meta-hacks fashion’s longstanding fixation with monogram recognition, and the industry’s more recent fascination with the bootleg. For the “Hacker Project” promotions, Michele tapped photographer Harley Weir for images and a music video that, appropriately, reference an archival Balenciaga campaign.
In addition to this novel accessories and ready-to-wear cross-over episode, Gucci’s holiday mixtape plays out in product tracks channeling the brand’s traditional horseracing motif; on stationary, game sets, and homewares from the newly launched Lifestyle collection (which is filled with historical Gucci trademarks); and in a New Year’s Eve gift edit conceived with festivities in mind.
The Hacker Project is now viewable in person in the German capital at Gucci Circolo Berlin, a retail experience created in celebration of the brand’s centennial, outfitted with a photo booth and listening lounge that pay homage to the city’s subcultures. Located at art collector Christian Boros’ “lapidarium,” Gucci Circolo Berlin is open to visitors through December 4, 2021.
- Creative DirectorAlessandro Michele
- Art DirectorChristopher Simmonds
- Photographer and DirectorHarley Weir