Gucci's Alessandro Michele Says “It’s Not True” to Accusations of Plagiarism
In defense of the label’s new alien-inspired campaign.
We’ve seen campaigns after campaigns from Alessandro Michele and the team at Gucci that makes us, and the rest of the world fall in love with the brand once again. Just a few days ago, Gucci teased us with a space alien casting campaign on their Instagram page hastaging the videos with #GucciAndBeyond. We too wondered what that means: A one-off marketing campaign, a teaser to a full-fledged feature film? Whatever it was, we were expecting more.
Not so much the case for this one Central Saint Martins’ student. Pierre-Louis Auvray accused Gucci of plagiarising his work, writing on his Instagram, "Young creatives struggle enough without big companies shamelessly stealing from them." Auvray’s Instagram profile is filled with heads of fantasy creatures photoshopped onto images of fashion runways and campaigns.
However, Michele spoke up and told Business of Fashion that, "It's not true. It's something that makes me feel really sad. People build a story around nothing." Michele also pointed out that Auvray’s first alien-inspired post was in February, when Gucci campaigns have been planned much earlier. "[The idea] started in my mind a few months ago, because it’s big, big, big work, to organise everything."
Michele further explained, "It’s about my memories, so movies from the '70s [including Star Trek: Lost in Space] that I saw many times. It’s more about space, we have the robots, the aliens.” Chloe Sens, a special make-up effects artist who helped Gucci work on this campaign also defended the brand in the comments section on her page. “Hello! Actually, what @Pierrelouis7 does is photoshop other people's makeups without permission onto other designers work. This is a makeup. I am a makeup artist. We work in different mediums. If you feel that you would like to share your thoughts further, please contact Gucci directly.”
What do you think? Was this pure coincidence, or there’s more to it? Let’s not forget that The Prestige and The Illusionist, two films that explored the themes of magic were both released on the same year.