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Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2017 Campaign: Hello Melanin

Gucci’s new pre-Fall 2017 campaign is all the melanin goodness we have been asking for. Out of all these brands out here, it seems like Gucci is the only one who gets it.

Their campaign, the “Soul Scene,” is not only celebrating fashion, but also diversity featuring only black models and dancers.

Gucci worked hard to capture the carefree and colorful spirit of the culture.

Glen Luchford, the photographer, used several 1960s influences for this showcase – England’s underground Northern Soul movement is one of them. The Northern Soul movement was a music scene which acted as an outlet for youths, mostly those of color, to let loose.

Early hip-hop, funk, and disco served as the soundtrack to this movement.

The other two influences were Malick Sidibé’s black-and-white photographs of young revelers in his hometown of Bamako, Mali; and the eye-catching portraits of men shown in the “Made You Look” exhibition at London’s Photographers’ Gallery, which was an exploration of black masculinity.

(You can look at more pictures from this campaign here.)

Personally, I think Gucci did a fantastic job with this campaign. When it comes to these big designer ad campaigns, we usually see the same (white) faces. This campaign was needed and extremely necessary for the world to see. It has the potential to be a game changer when it comes to casting black models for upcoming campaigns for different brands.

The fashion world isn’t known for their diversity. Honestly, most of the time I feel like that whole industry is racist and just wants to stick to being predominantly white. But, hey that’s just me.

Therefore, in an industry where they lack diversity, Gucci’s campaign is a small step in the right direction. It’s refreshing to see black models showcased. However, this campaign only scratches the surface of solving fashion’s diversity problem.

I don’t know what it is that makes some of these designers want to exclude people of color from their runways and in their marketing. Maybe some designers believe black can’t sell. However, Gucci is taking them to school and teaching them that inclusiveness is where it’s at.

It’s time for the fashion industry to take some notes.

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About Shekera Clarke

My name is Shekera Clarke. I am currently a senior at the University at Albany majoring in journalism with a business minor. I grew up in Queens, NY. QGTM! My goals upon graduating include either writing for a pop culture magazine/blog or work for ESPN because of my love for sports - whether that's behind the scenes or on air.

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