Gucci‘s cruise 2020 show was a dark, dramatic affair, held the night of May 28 at the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Harry Styles made such a splash in his all-white suit and tiny tank that fans quite literally wept when they saw him in full Gucci regalia. Celebrities like Styles, Elton John, A$AP Rocky, Salma Hayek, and Zoe Saldana lined the front row. And creative director Alessandro Michele took a stand in support of sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality, and freedom of expression.
As Michele told WWD, the show was a “hymn to freedom.”
“It’s unbelievable that around the world there are still people who believe that they can control a woman’s body, a woman’s choice,” he said. “I will always stand behind the freedom of being, always.”
The seventies-inspired collection included multiple blatantly clear statements in support of those values. Michele sent out a royal purple blazer emblazoned with the phrase “My Body My Choice,” and a cream-colored pleated gown featuring a delicately embroidered, sequined uterus, telling WWD that the dress symbolized the idea that “women should really be respected and considered as much as men, they should have freedom of choice, even to interrupt a pregnancy, which is the most difficult one.”
There were more subtle references to reproductive freedom woven throughout, like a jacket embellished with the date “22.5.78.” As the fashion house explained on social media, May 22, 1978 is the date when “the Italian statute for the social protection of motherhood and the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, better known as statute 194,” was established. Other garments featured the slogan “Chime for Change,” the name of Gucci’s global campaign for gender equality. Chime for Change has raised a reported 825,000 euros for reproductive and maternal health in countries including Afghanistan. Bangladesh, Mali, the Philippines, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, the U.K. and the U.S. Gucci has also financed training for 160 ambassadors against domestic violence, working with Italy’s National Association D.i.R.e (Women’s Network Against Violence), the first Italian collective of independent women’s centers and shelters.
“My aim was and is to pass a clear and loud message about the fact that the entire Gucci community is gathered together standing for gender equality,” said Michele. The internet heard it loud and clear.