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Gucci presents its Cruise 2025 show at London's Tate Gallery

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Gucci and London share a long history, with founder Guccio Gucci finding work as a porter in the Savoy Hotel in 1897. Energised by the city’s vibrant spirit, he returned to Florence to open a travel goods store, with the aspiration to narrate, through his luggage, a new way of living.

More than a century later, the notion of London as a place of cultural convergence still holds true, as do its parallels with the House’s constant process of self-discovery, forever calling on archival elements that anchor its heritage-inspired narrative.

Sabato De Sarno, Gucci’s Creative Director, also shares a history with London. “We choose London for the Cruise show, knowing that was the right choice. I owe a lot to this city, it has welcomed and listened to me." Tate Modern – a place where art, design, and fashion intertwine - are connected both in heritage and spirit. “To explore a creative direction is to bring yourself into an already-existing space and show it through your eyes, working from room to room with the goal of reshaping the building again,” De Sarno said in a statement.

The same is true for Gucci, whose founder was inspired by his experience there. The House’s return is driven by a desire to be immersed in its distinctive essence, its creative driving force with its limitless capability to put together contrasts, make them converse, and find ways to coexist. "Today we are here to celebrate that spirit. Tate Modern is the perfect cross-section to narrate the city’s essence, with its great Turbine Hall that welcomes and gathers everyone, and with the Tanks, generators of ideas.”

While this was De Sarno’s first Cruise presentation, it marks his third collection in eight months since his appointment at the Florentine fashion house. Many were hoping his vision for the storied Maison would come together with this show. With Kering in the midst of revenue woes, and not just from its star brand, falling share prices, drops in sales and a challenging first quarter in 2024 were seen across the group’s portfolio. Can a single designer fix all the ills? Is it even fair to hold him to those expectations?

Perfectly nice clothes

De Sarno has an egalitarian hand that so far has executed perfectly nice clothes and bags. True, they may have not stirred the soul the way John Galliano’s couture presentation brought emotion, or even moved the trend needle off the scales, like Bottega Veneta did when it introduced its giant woven accessories. But they have certainly not brought any offense.

The brown suede and leather outerwear in the new Gucci Rosso were testament that real clothes are back; the need for eccentric styling and unnecessary fluff is no longer what customers are after. Even the aspirational luxury shopper, who often likes a logo and recognizable fashion, is less inclined to buy into hype-led trends.

A sense of bohemia filtered through the collection, with fewer micro shorts and a more relaxed look including roomy denims, oversized blousons paired with culottes, a chiffon bra under a cotton blouse. With tousled long hair, the looks were less slick than they were relaxed and tomboyish, the way Londoners embrace street style, subcultures, and mix high and low fashion.

De Sarno did right to present Cruise in London; borrowing the city’s dynamic landscape showed a willingness to experiment and embrace its vibrancy. This collection may not come to define the zeitgeist, but it has pieces for a wide audience, if only they care to shop at Gucci.